April 13, 2010

How To Delegate To Outsiders

working with the best
If you know that branding matters, you can't cheap out when hiring a designer.

If you know that quality matters, you can't cheap up out when printing your marketing material

If you know that time matters, you can't get involved in making small but time-consuming decisions.

What can you do?

The Better Way

Work with people as good at what they do as you are at what you do.

You delegate and rely on the judgment of your collaborators. Will you get exactly what you imagined?

Probably not. You might get stuck with something even better.


The Lesson From Experience

When I first started managing staff, I wanted them to do things the way I would. If you have a pet or child, you know that doesn’t work. I had neither and learned by experience.

You've got two choices:
  1. say what you want and let the other person figure out how (they use their talents and take responsibility for the results)
  2. say how you want something done (which makes them robot-like and you responsible for the outcome)
Either approach works, depending on the person, assignment and timeframe. Combining them flops.

Delegation won’t work if you’re a control freak. But are you really? Sometimes we get mired in trivia to avoid doing more important but less pleasant work. Unfortunately, busy is not the same as effective.

Best Results

When using external collaborators, you get the best results by trusting their abilities and judgment. And treating them as part of your team.

When you work in a corporation, you’re limited by the abilities and priorities of your salaried co-workers. That spells c-o-m-p-r-o-m-i-s-e. As an entrepreneur, you’ve got access to other independent high-calibre entrepreneurs eager and able to please.

You also pay them fairly --- like you want to be paid. That golden rule again. One of my collaborators fell far behind schedule because another project grew in scope. He offered to charge less but I declined. If he’s losing financially, so am I. Our joint success depends on his creativity.

When you care about others, they care about you. You all benefit now and in the future.


PS Collaborators bring diversity too

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