(Expansion) – Whoever wants to control everything will end up collapsing. As impressive as the skills of a leader are, it is impossible for them to be able to carry out all the functions of an area or company alone.
Unless, of course, you are willing to completely sacrifice your freedom, your well-being, and even your productivity. Because the work requires specialization and subdivision; dialogue and feedback. In my experience, if as a leader you do not delegate to a large extent, it is due to two main reasons.
The first is that your leadership could be autocratic and controlling, but it only means one thing: you are afraid and do not trust your team, and therefore you do not trust your ability to adequately teach the skills, tools and processes that your teams need. to be able to work in a ‘self-management’ way. The other is that you don’t know how to start delegating.
In front of my teams I try to think of myself as “the most stupid person in the room”. This allows me to listen to others, instead of talking. With this, I can catch ideas and guide my team to find new and effective solutions, all with a simple question: “how would you solve it?”. This question is capable of triggering an unimaginable catharsis of productivity and showing them that they are capable of solving it on their own. Delegation starts with trust. As my friend Raúl Bravo taught me, Alfonso Reyes used to say that “we all know everything”.
The one who makes a lot of mistakes
The drive to control everything usually comes from a very important desire and a very genuine concern: we seek to minimize mistakes, since they usually cost money. But when a member of your team has many responsibilities, their propensity for error increases considerably. He who does a lot, makes a lot of mistakes. The best thing in these cases is to record the learning and make sure that the next mistake is for a different topic.
A few years ago, when I was just an intern, something that seemed like my mistake resulted in a client not renewing his contract with the company where he worked. I immediately went to my area leader and explained the event to him, hoping that he would fire me, and his response was: “why would I fire you if your training has just cost the company the annual amount of that contract?”
This means that your team will necessarily make mistakes, but it will strengthen their learning processes. You learn more from mistakes and you don’t learn from someone else’s head.
The talach will not set us free
Let us think of a person who spends any given Saturday doing housework. She wakes up early to wash clothes. If you do it by hand, it will take maybe 3, 4 or 5 hours to do it. In addition, you will have to wait for everything to dry before starting to iron. Without a doubt there is work involved, a lot. But how productive is it when compared to doing it with a washer and dryer?
Something similar happens to a leader who does not delegate. Of course it is working, and in industrial quantities, but at what levels of efficiency? And at the expense of what? It is not about working more, productivity necessarily has to do with the value of the activities, not with the number of hours invested.
When you don’t delegate, you sacrifice free time, which is key to getting better results. Because mental space is needed for strategic planning, for the design of the future of a company or an area. This cannot be obtained when one lives perpetually controlling even the smallest process and putting out fires everywhere.
The best fertilizer of all
Like many other business founders, I learned to delegate through mistakes. When I reached a point of work saturation, I focused better on transferring part of what I assumed as responsibilities. And it is interesting, because delegating is not just letting go. It involves an active process of prioritizing activities, something that you have to learn to do or hire someone to help you do it.
When you delegate as a leader, you are paving the way for your company’s strategy and thereby boosting its growth. The company becomes more functional and your role in it more relevant.
Now I go through a collective learning process with my work teams to delegate better, I teach everything I can and I give them control. For them to make a mistake, they fix it and they develop. From there, we move forward together. I reiterate: “we all know everything”.
Editor’s note: Jorge Sánchez García is the managing partner of Apolo 25. Follow him on . The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.