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Teamwork, Communication And Delegation 

Lonely At The Top.

Few entrepreneurs have an aptitude or passion for team issues. One of the reasons they choose to start businesses rather than become managers or salaried employees in the first place is that they get energy from innovating, taking risks, and creating results in the marketplace, not from hiring people, explaining things to them, and managing their progress. But if you want your business to grow into the “future company” you imagine, you’ll need the help of other people. Fortunately, using some fundamental principles and strategies, you can develop your team and your teamwork skills to the point where others ultimately leverage you and make you feel supported, not stressed.

Many Strategic Coach Program™ participants have made quantum leaps in their businesses by changing the way they think about these three basic issues: teamwork, communication, and delegation.

Teamwork: The Power Of Others.

You may feel like hiring and managing team members is distracting you from doing what’s needed in order to grow the business. Constantly having to find new people, step in to do things yourself while they learn, and invest in training them only to have them leave can seem like an enormous waste of time and money.

Honestly speaking, when these efforts are misplaced, they are a waste of money. Many corporations spend vast amounts of money hiring and training people with the aim of shaping them into the people they need them to be. The fact is, though, that while most people can be taught to be reasonably competent in a role, competence is hardly something to aspire to.

This approach works backwards, respecting the position more than the human being. Most large organizations don’t have the flexibility to operate any other way. As the leader of an entrepreneurial business, though, you have the opportunity to create something radically different and exponentially more effective: Unique Teamwork™.

Unique Teamwork starts with identifying your own Unique Ability® activities, those superior skills you have that give you energy and create great results for your business. The more you’re able to focus on these activities, the more your business will thrive. Unique Teamwork is possible when you find others who have similar talent and passion for the other activities that are needed to support you in doing what you do best. By engaging people’s passions, you gain access to a staggering amount of creativity, independent thinking, energy, and commitment. Gradually focusing and tapping into people’s talents in this way enables you to effortlessly harness these powerful human resources in a way that naturally channels them towards realizing your company’s goals.

Communication: Words That Work.

Whether or not you have the right people on board, you may find there’s a gap between the great ideas in your mind about your business and what actually happens. If the people around you continually don’t seem to “get it,” you may have an issue with communication.

Communication is always a two-way street. In order for communication to happen, not only must the message be sent, it must be received. Some of your best ideas may not come to pass simply because you don’t share them in a way that others can understand. Things that may seem obvious to you may not be so obvious to your team members, who are coming from a different perspective and don’t share your stake in the business.

Since using your unique talents is the most productive way to spend your time, any task that you struggle with or really dislike is clearly a prime candidate for delegation. Another issue, which is often overlooked, is that team members have different communication styles and preferences. Without knowing what these are, it’s easy to miscommunicate without realizing it. For instance, one team member may require more information or background on a project than another in order to feel confident taking action. When the result doesn’t happen, the entrepreneur may feel the person lacks competence, when really, all that is needed to remedy the problem is a different style of communication. Our experience has been that with a few simple tools and strategies, entrepreneurs are able to avoid many pitfalls related to communicating with their teams.

Delegation: Multiplying Your Abilities.

Many entrepreneurs find it difficult to delegate. There are several mental obstacles as well as some tangible ones that create a host of reservations around this issue. For entrepreneurs who are used to doing everything themselves, it can be difficult to give up control over a task to someone else. Often, the excuse is that they can’t find the right person for the task. The truth is that it’s often better to delegate a particularly time- or energy-consuming job to someone else, even if they aren’t as good at it as you are, simply because of the multiplier effect in productivity of getting that task off your plate. Waiting for the perfect person to come along may not be the best strategy. Another common objection is that “I can’t afford to delegate.” This touches on the fear that an entrepreneur won’t be able to use the time he or she gains through the delegation productively enough to justify the investment in hiring or outsourcing. If an entrepreneur is delegating the right things for the right reasons, this is almost never the case. The investment will pay off many times over. However, this leads to the important question of how to determine what to delegate.

The simplest way to approach delegations is to use Unique Ability as a guide. Your Unique Ability, properly focused and channelled, creates the most value in the world and the biggest results for you and your team. Since using your unique talents is the most productive way to spend your time, any task that you struggle with or really dislike is clearly a prime candidate for delegation.

How It All Adds Up.

Teamwork, communication, and delegation go hand in hand. Having the right people in place, and then developing good communication with them will go a long way towards giving you the confidence you need to feel comfortable about delegating activities and responsibilities. Great teamwork, communication, and delegation skills are a hallmark of the most consistently successful entrepreneurs. Yet, this is not where most entrepreneurs want to focus their powers of innovation, nor is it where they should be focusing. This is why we’ve been called upon over the years to develop and package so many solutions in this area, strategies designed to allow entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best, and to be fully supported in doing this by a motivated, aligned, capable, and confident team.

© 2007 The Strategic Coach
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