The nature and purpose of any business is growth: financial, geographic, quality (expansion of the range, integration into social structures). As the company grows, more and more responsibilities, tasks, and routine actions fall on the owner. As a result, there comes a moment when you understand that business as a process has not just ceased to bring you pleasure.
It takes up all your time, you simply have no time to live, you have no time to enjoy the fruits of your daily labours. And this is the very moment when it is time to figure out what delegation of authority is, how to use this tool correctly, and then start implementing it in the company’s management processes. The perfect example can be used from the email marketing service agencies, which have so well structured delegation of authority even working remotely.
There is one indispensable condition, in the absence of which it is impossible to achieve success. Success cannot be achieved by accident or intuition; it is purposeful work for the benefit of the system. The system starts with the owner. But many people simply have no idea what the real role of a business owner is.
They think that a leader should work harder than anyone else – not only know his company from the first to the last screw, but also be able to replace any employee: tighten that same screw, draw up a report, attract a client. When they create a business, they bring these beliefs to the company.
In fact, in the activities of every enterprise, sooner or later, there comes a time when the owner must learn to delegate authority in order to prevent regression.
What is delegation? In simple terms, to delegate means to transfer functional responsibilities to subordinates.
Two actors are involved in the process:
- Delegate – the one who transfers the functions that he previously performed himself.
- A delegate is an employee or department that takes over these functions.
When we say “functions,” we mean the entirety of business processes; you can delegate any work, any authority.
There are two main types of delegation:
Linear – when functions are shifted from a higher level to a lower level, according to this principle, the performer becomes the leader of one level or another;
Headquarters – when the delegation of staff powers implies the transfer of control, coordination, recommendation functions: for example, an employee of the audit department, unlike the owner, does not have direct power over the director of the store, but has the right to issue binding orders.
Ideally, you can achieve such heights of systematization when the owner gets the opportunity to completely withdraw from solving operational problems.
Delegation stages as the organization develops
To understand how delegation relates to an awareness of the owner’s true responsibilities, let’s follow the process of starting a large business.
The first stage of development
If you don’t buy a ready-made company, but start a business from scratch, it looks something like this:
- You found a demanded product, caught fire with an idea.
- Developed a business plan.
- Started to implement their plans alone or with several assistants.
At the initial stage, the organizer learns with experience what it means to delegate work. Your assistants, in fact, do not have any clear job responsibilities, you simply give them certain assignments that you do not have time to complete yourself.
You do not have any problems with management: employees perfectly understand what actions need to be taken, what results they should come to. Your main task is to promote your product to the market.
Once you have established yourself in your small niche, you begin to develop. You build a hierarchy of specialized employees: manager; people making the product; department of promotion, advertising.
You still have no problems with management: you understand all the processes, you know how to make and how to sell. You can objectively assess the effectiveness of an employee, you can motivate him personally, encourage him or replace him. The entire responsibility for the activities of the company remains with you.
Management implementation stage
When whole departments start to deal with the field of activity of individual specialized employees, the organizer usually comes to the idea of the need for professional management. And here more than half of the owners find themselves in a vicious circle.
You hire department heads who are experts in their field, you plan to develop further, but there is no expansion: on the contrary, the company is rolling back to the level when everything worked perfectly under your personal control.
The owners have been trying for years to solve this problem by changing the management team, but they only achieve that they lose half of the staff: not all line subordinates can psychologically withstand the constant change of direct management. In addition, turnover in the ranks of the management team destroys the confidence of the “field” employees in the reliability of the company.
In fact, the first thing a business creator must do is learn to delegate authority and responsibility.