We have a lack of organization structure. Not everyone can be a manager. We might not recognize the candidate who can be a lead – and I’m not sure what a lead is, anyway. On the other hand, I can’t leave unless I give a list of things to do to people. They don’t take initiative to look around at what needs to be done. And when I come back half of stuff isn’t done and gets pushed back to me, and I get bombarded. What should I do?

Thoughts of the Day: Building organizational structure is one of the hallmarks of a stage 2 company. Figure out what you have to work with, and how best to organize that group of employees into more efficient units. Learn to delegate tasks and projects to teams. It’s important to make sure employees know where the company is headed, and the role they play in helping the business get there. Conduct regular meetings, and work with the teams to build a Next Action Steps List and review and discuss progress and hold ups.

It’s all about making the transition from entrepreneur to business builder.

Most companies in the U.S. never make it out of Stage 1, Entrepreneurial and Opportunistic, even though the financial rewards are in Stage 2; when the small business owner becomes a Business Builder. Stage 2 companies are significantly more efficient, profitable, stable and successful. Learning how to develop and lead a committed group of individuals, and organize them into teams headed in the same direction will help with overall business growth and owner satisfaction.

Look for people who have these attributes:
  • intention,
  • goal orientation,
  • drive to succeed,
  • ability to learn and create solutions.

Employees with these key attributes are the future leaders of your company.  Give them opportunity to hone their skills by asking them to lead their peers.

In order to gain control, give up control.

People talk about the necessity of delegation, especially for business owners, a lot. It can be harder than it sounds, but there are some key ways to get on the right path to delegation. Ask your people to step up, be open with them about your willingness to delegate tasks and projects. Encourage your team take ownership, be accountable, and think their way through problems, and seek outside education to help employees develop into leaders.

When problems arise – and they probably will, that’s okay – ignore your initial gut reaction to criticize and pull the task away. Instead, ask your teams report on their assessment of what went wrong and what they’re going to do about it. Can’t emphasize this enough – Resist the temptation to step in to take over. Let the teams work together to figure out the solutions, be there to give advice if asked, but don’t try to take over or micromanage. It can be scary to let go, but if you believe you have hired good people, trust the process. It takes practice to make delegation a habit.

Most small business owners say the business should have a business plan, but they don’t have one.

It can be hard to follow a leader without knowing what the plan is. If you’re one of the many business owners without written plans, think about how people are going to follow your lead if you don’t put in writing where the business is headed. Some business owners fear writing out a business plan; What if things change? What if they pick the wrong direction? What if people won’t follow or don’t want to go on that journey? All valid concerns, but sometimes as business leaders and business owners we have to push past those insecurities for the better of the company and the people we employ.

Get people into the right jobs.

Stop worrying and start writing things down. Some people will stick with you for a long time, others will be around for a shorter trip. No matter the length of time they’re with you, make sure they can understand and follow your lead.

Establish a regular meeting schedule, every week, where you review what’s been accomplished and what’s next.
  • Help the group to brainstorm a list of things that need to get done.
  • Put names and dates to each item on the list.
  • Check back in weekly to see how things are progressing.
  • Re-date past due items and feel success by checking off things that are done.
  • Add to the list – make it a living, breathing document that everyone can use to stay on point and measure progress.
  • Encourage discussion of what else needs to be done, and how the group might tackle those additional needs.
It’s a work in progress. As your group builds skill at stepping up, increase the tasks you delegate. The load will start to come off your shoulders. Give up control to gain control, trust the process – it works.

Looking for a good book? The Incredibly Useful Book of Delegation: How to Delegate So It Gets Done Correctly The First Time!, by Silver Rose.