INNOVATE & DELEGATE
The job market, technology, and the economy will continue to rapidly change. You must commit to a lifetime of learning and challenge yourself to identify innovative ways to differentiate so you can achieve the level of success you deserve.
Management and leadership require tenacity, dedication, and determination to view change and obstacles as opportunities. A great manager realizes they become an effective leader when they delegate to others, helping them grow in their career.
Your company is only as strong as the weakest manager, which is why collaborating efforts to achieve goals and objectives is critical to the success of your entire management team.
While every company may have great ideas, only those with a strategy and effective leadership can turn those concepts into business growth and success. When individuals you supervise ask you questions, you should always respond with the same answer, “What is your solution?”
This encourages your team to think on their feet and advance in their career.
Before you approach your direct report with a question or problem, I challenge you to ask yourself the exact same question, “What is your solution?” When you are on the front lines of management, you have hands-on knowledge and perception and can often come up with better solutions that can benefit everyone.
Creative and innovating management is the process of managing new ideas. This requires creating action items that are dated and assigned to someone for the ideas to become reality.
Your core competencies are the things your company does best internally, as well as better than the competition. However, doing something well does not mean that it is important because your competencies may not always align with your market's wants and needs.
When it comes to managing innovation, your culture will either magnify your success or severely detract from it. The right culture attracts and maintains innovators, where the wrong culture turns them away. Managing innovation is not easy, and you are bound to come across roadblocks both internally and externally on your journey.
How you react to change has a great impact on how your team will react to change. They judge you by your actions, not your words. You must be the greatest advocate of changes that are made and focus on how to change will benefit the people you lead.
When I’m coaching leaders on how to become an effective change agent, I suggest they build on factors which will also boost the influence they have on others. The ability to adapt to change will help you advance in your career both now and in the future.
As a change agent, you’re discussing a change which might not be popular – it takes courage to break out of the norm.
Put yourself in the shoes of others to understand their experience. Empathy stops you from judging people for resisting change, so you can recognize their response to change is valid.
Your role as a change agent or leader is to create the conditions for change to happen, but each of your employees must navigate the change at their own pace and you need to give them time to catch up rather than lose them.
You may encounter setbacks or resistance, but you must never take resistance personally. Resilience enables the persistence required to drive change.
Deliberately choose the words and actions that break the patterns so change can happen. Being deliberate starts with self-awareness.
Change is never predictable. Your employees may suggest a new idea or an approach that is different from your own. You can encounter unforeseen obstacles. Listen, learn, and adapt while continuing to move in the right direction.
No one has enough energy to embody all these traits and realize there might be times when you become frustrated, make assumptions, take things personally, grow impatient, get distracted, and bend to the pressure to just get things done.
When that happens, take a step back and evaluate whether implementing one of these traits will help you move things forward. Embrace the trait that may represent one of your weaknesses which could negatively impact the success you achieve.
Whether you’re responsible for managing a team of 2 or 200, delegation can be one of the most difficult skills for a leader to grow. And, while you might recognize they need to do a better job of delegating, doing it is a different story.
Here are a few ways delegating responsibility helps you and your employees grow:
Delegation maximizes everyone’s potential.
Not only does delegation help the manager focus on the larger, more strategic aspects of the company, it also helps employees learn new skills. Delegation creates an environment where everyone is growing, which allows employees to flourish and develop within your company. You want to take members of your team with you as you are promoted.
Delegation creates more space for new ideas.
Delegating responsibility won’t free up 100% of your time, but it gives you more space to think about what’s next for your department, team, or company.
Delegation improves employee job satisfaction.
According to the studies, an employees’ attitude towards task delegation was positive and led to increased job satisfaction, probably because task delegation comprised a high degree of work autonomy.
Delegation creates structure within your organization.
Delegating responsibility creates a hierarchy, which is important to creating authority and a system of responsibility. As a result, employees are more likely to complete tasks to the fullest of their ability.
Delegation provides a better environment for your organization to grow.
When work is delegated throughout the organization, everyone has more time to take care of important tasks vs. the urgent distractions. This also creates an opportunity to develop and grow the company as well.
To become successful at delegating:
Make delegation a priority within your organization.
Make delegating part of your process for your meetings and employee development plans. Whether it’s during the annual review process or in a weekly meeting, it’s important to regularly discuss which types of projects and tasks you will pass on to employees, so that they can build the skills they need.
If you’re not good at delegation, give your direct reports permission to call you out when you haven’t delegated something you should. On the other hand, it’s important for managers to let employees know they are responsible for their own growth and should be proactive about seeking new responsibility.
Know your people.
Before you delegate tasks, really know your employees. What are they gifted at? In what areas do they struggle? Assigning a task to the wrong person will only perpetuate your negative perception of delegation.
Once you delegate a task, do not do the task for your employee because they didn’t get it done fast enough or you feel you could do a better job.
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