16 Feb

Successful businesses are flexible businesses

Many people can think ahead three, five or maybe even ten years, and talk about what they hope their life will look like at that point. Some will also have a specific business or personal long term goal. Even fewer though, will have a plan as to how they will achieve those goals.

Why does this occur? Why do people become less confident with their action plans? It is as if they have put all their eggs into one basket and then start praying that they don’t drop or lose the basket. Why do so many people follow this high-risk strategy?

The challenge lies in the action planning. There is never just one way of achieving something. People become set in their ways of how they can achieve their long term goals that they put on their blinkers, dig in their heels and convince themselves that the one plan they have come up with is the only way to achieve their end goal.

Picture yourself taking  a road trip to your favourite beach holiday home. On the way you encounter road works and unfortunately a detour. It will add 30 minutes  to your trip, but you will still get to the holiday house, just a bit later than expected.

This above example is the reality of the situation and what actually happens with goal setting and planning the way forward. The holiday home is your end goal and the road route is your plan. Sometimes there will be detours and roadblocks in the road, but there will always be an alternative route. You just have to be open to the idea of looking for alternatives and accepting that deviations do occur.

The slippery slope to becoming unsuccessful in achieving the end goal starts when people refuse to see alternatives. They get stuck at the road block and instead of following the detour route they wait, expecting the roadblock to magically disappear so they can continue on the set route.

By becoming so set in your ways and believing in only one route you can prevent yourself from ever achieving your goal. That’s why people often give up quickly. The first plan didn’t work, so they convince themselves that they have failed and the long term goal goes back to being a beautiful dream of something they would like to have, but deep down feel they will never achieve.

Reviewing different plans or routes  is not a sign of failure, it is a sign of being comfortable with change and being open to alternative thinking. Those are the traits of successful people. Its not just about the plan.

Need professional coaching assistance? Contact Nicole nicole@tikumu.co.nz

02 Feb

To Delegate or not to delegate? 5 things to keep in mind

Delegation can be a wonderful thing or it can land up being your worst nightmare. Your feelings about delegation may depend on past positive or negative experiences, your personality type, how you view control and how confident you are to relinquish control  to someone else.

However, we know that if we don’t delegate and try to do everything ourselves we limit ourselves and our business growth.

To get it right and to avoid the nightmare of everything going wrong, here are a few ideas you can keep in mind when delegating to your colleagues, team members and suppliers.

1. They are not you

The sooner you come to terms with the fact that the person you are delegating to is not you, and therefore will not execute the plan in precisely the same way as you, the better it is for everyone concerned. Yes, you may have better attention to detail, but they may work better under pressure. Everyone brings their own strengths to the table and everyone will complete a task in their own unique way. Just remember, their manner is not wrong if the  performance standards have been met along the way and the goal has been achieved.

Allow them to take control of the project or task. Let them take ownership. Give them authority.

2. Know the capabilities of the person you are delegating to

For you the task may be simple and something you could achieve with your eyes closed. This may not be the case for the person you are delegating to. Before you hand over the task, put yourself in that person’s shoes. Try to see the task from their perspective. It may be a breeze, but it also may be quite overwhelming, stressful and a real stretch for them. By understanding their capabilities and limits you can work with them. Remember they are not you, so go into the delegation process with your eyes wide open.

3. It’s not over till its over

To delegate successfully you need to understand that you still play a part in the project execution, your role however has just shifted from “doer” to “observer”. You are sadly mistaken if you think that you can completely wash your hands of the task after giving out instructions.

Depending on the length of time it will take to complete the task as well as how complicated the task is, it is always a good idea to install a few safety nets. Decide prior to the start of execution together with the person who is performing the task how often they will be checking in with you and reporting back on how the task is progressing.  No safety nets can result in disastrous outcomes.

4. Have realistic expectations

As we have already established this person who you are delegating to is not you. Therefore your personal  abilities with regards to achievable time frames, required resources and skill set is not necessarily theirs. Prior to pushing the go button on the project, be very clear what both parties expectations are.

Agree and sign off on method of execution, time frames, resources, additional training or assistance. Making things transparent from the beginning will save huge amounts of time, energy and money and less headaches.

5. To delegate or not to delegate?
Yes, there are tasks and projects that you cannot and shouldn’t delegate. This would be based on your job function and level of responsibility. The general always has the final say on the attack strategy, the CEO will always have final sign off on a new business initiative and IT manager will always be the keeper of the master passwords.
Think about what your speciality is. Why are you in the business? What is your area of expertise? Why would you want to delegate these tasks or projects out? You may just delegate yourself out of a job. If that is the plan and you wish to move on or shift roles in the business, then go ahead and implement a succession plan. But if not, hold onto the reason why you are there and the unique value that you add.
Need assistance and want to utilise the services of a business coach? contact Nicole at nicole@tikumu.co.nz