So I thought of a fourth D – delegation. One of the other challenges in working with founders is to prioritise the right activities is managing delegation. Let me re-iterate the default founder position: my way is the best way, My voice is the best voice and therefore the best solution is always DIY! But as a business scales, time must be apportioned more assiduously, and choices must be made.
How to transition to a trusted relationship with both internal and external experts? Externally, areas such as Accountancy, Legal, Marketing Services – also sales channels, perhaps some tech – come in to play. Carries its own challenges. Internally carries different challenges. But how do you influence a founder/owner to accept that certain areas are his or her strengths and where maximum impact will serve best growth outcomes for the business, other areas simply do NOT! As Luke Johnson asserted in the Sunday Times last week, it is a necessary evil for entrepreneurs!
I have written in previous posts of the importance of the ‘heartbeat’ of a company, which is invariably linked to the genuine passion of the founder. That is a start point for priority of activity. There may be much doing grafted onto that passion in the start up being, but re-focussing that passion is productive. There will be weaker points; test and probe; offer options and other ways of dealing; seek measurable outcomes demonstrating positive impact. These can be internal ways of working, or cultivating external suppliers to positions of trusted contributors – takes perseverance and perhaps no little trial and error. And inevitably, turn liberated time and effort back to that passion!
“Delegation is a necessary evil for entrepreneurs.”