13 February 2019

Entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE talks sports, success, failure and how to improve. How do you create a magic formula?

There are so many lessons from sport that can be transferred to business. If someone dropped the ball, would you pass it to them again?

It is difficult to delegate when you feel that the people around you are not up to the task.

Part of being a leader is being incredibly driven and focussed on achieving your goal. With that comes the challenge of being able to delegate and empower others; to entrust them with driving towards achieving your goal.

The best analogy for this is that it’s like playing rugby. If you throw a pass and someone drops it that’s ok. If you throw it a second time and they drop it again, and it was an easy pass, then that’s a problem. Delegation gets harder.

However, if you were to throw the pass and they went on to score from it, you can start throwing them faster, longer passes. You know that they have got a good success rate and you can stretch their boundaries and challenge them. When you feel you know that this person is at a particular level, delegation becomes easier and easier.

So how do you delegate?

It comes down to trust, and a bit of trial and error! You have to give people opportunities; to recognise when people are learning and developing. Equally you need to recognise when it’s simply not working. Know when to ask for help and to help other people when they need it.

Delegation isn’t about dropping a task on someone that you don’t want to complete – getting a monkey off your back. It’s about empowering the most appropriately skilled or passionate person with the right role to help the business and the person progress.

Stepping back can be a huge challenge, so think carefully about who you entrust with which task or challenge. Does that task fit their skillset and personality?

You cannot be all things to all people, equally you can’t do every single job that a business needs. As a business grows, your role as a leader will inevitably change and grow too. This is where delegation is essential. Empowering people is exactly what is needed to take a business to the next level.

I talk about delegation in my latest podcast, Mind Your Own Business, on iTunes and other platforms.

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