0 comments on “Do or Die – Delegation or Death (of my business)”

Do or Die – Delegation or Death (of my business)

Passing the Torch

There’s not a manager I’ve met or talked to that doesn’t have a hard time delegating work to others.  Why is this?  Why do we all tend to resist what can help us be more productive and allow us to focus on more important roles in leadership?  Is it simple control?  Our normal behavior as managers and leaders is to want to do everything ourselves because we know it will be done correctly.  Sound familiar to anyone?

Another famous statement I’ve heard spoken time and time again would be “By the time I show them how to do it I could have done it myself.”  This is the dilemma of delegation.  Wow, it’s a tough nut to crack!  That statement feels like there is some merit to the arguments about time spent teaching versus doing.   But wait, there, right there is the flaw that holds us back.  We never want to account for the tens or hundreds of times into the future this task could be completed for us and thus save us hours upon hours of time.  Yes, any given one instance there is a loss in our time spent teaching versus doing it ourselves.  Or is that even true?  Was the time lost or was it spent investing?  By investing I mean investing into the time you gain later when this task surfaces once again.  Not to mention, the investment in developing your team member to be the support you need.

As managers, in most cases, we got to where we are by being doers, by hitting the door running in the morning and mowing to do’s down like fresh grass.  We thrive on it.  We live for it.  Then someone says “If you show me how to do that, I could start doing it for you each week.”  Suddenly, this causes a break in our view of why we’re important and needed in our roles.  This is where the average manager will operate for most of their time.  They will hold onto work that should be passed on and will fight for it.  Those managers that have evolved beyond this group may allow some work to be done by their team but will replace it with more work that should be done, you guessed it, by their team.  Then, there are the true visionary leaders.  Those that delegate effectively and capture that time they have recouped to work on the business, not in the business.  This allows them the time to think freely, less the clutter of to-do’s that normally would be chasing them down.

Coaching leaders to this last stage of development are one of the bigger challenges because we fight against it so hard. It’s also very rewarding because once we can truly offload the work that should be done by our teams then we can elevate our thoughts to the vision of the business. There, surfaces the creativity that’s needed to drive real growth and change in thriving companies.  Our focus is to teach the value of what to do with this time saved to help inspire great leaders to find a new drive.  We want to help managers understand the liberty in delegating as much as they possibly can to their teams and how to use the time they’re saving to build some of the best companies out there.

Wishing you continued growth,


Copyright © 2017 The Growth Factory

0 comments on “Did I Really Say That?”

Did I Really Say That?

My guess is that we’ve all experienced a case of this before.  You’re in a meeting with one of your managers or team members and you’re discussing with them a need for change.  The meeting appeared to go well with no red flags and you felt accomplished that all was communicated clearly.  Later, you hear them talking to their team or another team member about what you said and as they are talking you think, “Did I really say that?”  “How did they come up with that interpretation?”  “That’s not at all what I said!”  Welcome to the world of filters and selective listening.  This is something we all do.  Sometimes it’s completely harmless.

How about this scenario? – Your spouse or your child is talking and your mind is focused somewhere else, maybe it’s still wrapped up in business from the day, so you nod and grunt as they talk until they stop.  Then comes, “Well, what do you think?”  Now, you freeze!  You haven’t heard a word they’ve said, but not giving an answer is out of the question.  Here’s my go-to response – “Honey, I think you are right”.  (The prior example was all fictional and never really occurred.)  ; )

In business, this is not going to work.  When we don’t listen well, or hear through our own filters, it can harm our communication and the ability to get things done.  When we choose to hear what, we want, and we don’t confirm what is said, we only set ourselves up for problems.  There’s a simple strategy to solving this problem and it’s called “Active Listening”.  If you learn to practice this technique I assure you that miscommunication involving yourself will drop to nearly nothing.  Here is how it works.  If you follow these few points it will make a major difference:

  1. Acknowledge the person speaking. Make good eye contact.  Nod your head when you’re in agreement.  Your non-verbal cues should be clear as to what you are hearing, giving no mixed messages.
  2. Practice reflective listening – Phrases like “What I am hearing is” or “Sounds like you are saying” are a couple of ways to do this.
  3. If any confusion still exists please clarify and ask questions. “What do you mean when you say?” or “Is this what you mean?”
  4. Assuming is your enemy and I know we’ve, all heard what to A-S-S-U-M-E means. Don’t forget it.

So, I say give it a shot.   These are points that I try to coach to whenever possible to make sure communication is improved and there are not problems created by simple listening mistakes.  It is an easy fix to practice these steps, but it will ensure you are a much better communicator and a great listener.  If there is one skill out there that the world can use a lot more of – it’s listening.  So, avoid that moment when you look at yourself and say “Did I really say that?”

Wishing you great growth.


0 comments on “Try, Try Again…”

Try, Try Again…

We can all recall the saying that ends with the three words above, “try, try again”.  How many of us truly live by them?  My observation is that statistics would show not that high of a percentage.  Why is that?  Sure, there are many things we can view as out of our reach or out of our control as we focus on current limitations.  We probably grumble and complain about them daily.  Am I right?  A person’s effort, my friends, is something that is 100% within control.  All the riches can not buy a person’s effort.  No one is handed more of it than others.  A person’s effort is not found in even their physical or mental abilities. As a matter of fact, it’s been proven time and again that effort supersedes both physical and mental capabilities.  It comes from a determination.  Some call it heart, others would say willpower, yet others call it drive.

Okay, so let me say it again and let this statement seep into your minds so that it is rooted there forevermore.  A person’s effort is 100% within their control.

So, if this is the case why are there not hundreds of thousands of people launching new businesses?  Why aren’t the dreamers fulfilling their dreams of opening that new bistro down the street, becoming doctors and lawyers, or climbing that business ladder to success?  Rather than, the percentages are higher of those who are conditioned in such a way that the possibility of success is an outreach.  Everything is stacked up against them and the excuses are endless.  Truly, the only person to blame for wherever we are in this life is ourselves.  It is up to the person living it each day to take ownership of their success.  Let today be the day that you keep your dream alive.  Look in the mirror and tell yourself “today is the day I will succeed”.

Persistence sums up the blend to success.  Effort + Persistence = Success!!  It’s the key to keeping us going.  There will be more falls than not on this journey and we must get back up, dust ourselves off, and go again and again and again.  Thomas Edison failed many times over in his efforts to invent the light bulb until he actually invented the light bulb. When things get tough don’t give up because it may be that next adjustment that gets you over the climb.  If you think things should be easy they usually never are.  Those with persistence will keep pushing until they overcome and will celebrate crashing through the challenges put in front of them.  Have any of you seen the movie, “The Founder”? It’s another great story that drives the point of persistence home.  Ray Kroc was just a man with a crazy idea.  He failed to hit it big with many opportunities, but his persistence finally pushed through to his big deal with McDonald’s and he never looked back.

How about our 2017 Superbowl?  The Patriots stayed the course, maintained persistence to their game plan and methodically began to score.  The game got closer and closer until it was tied.  As it headed into overtime I don’t think there was much doubt on who would win the game after the coin toss.  The score was down 28 to 3 and their persistence to not give up and to keep trying play after play showed drive that not many teams would have.  The Patriots have won their fair share of Superbowls.  They’re winners and they’ve earned it by being persistent and never giving up no matter the odds.  This mindset will take you so many more places than where you’ll end up with a list of excuses.

When asked which Superbowl ring he likes best.  Tom Brady simply answers, “The next one.”  Persistence is not something that’s taught it’s in each one of us waiting to come out.  Unleash the power of it today and make tomorrow whatever you want it to be.  It’s under your control 100%!!

Wishing you continued growth.


Copyright © 2017 The Growth Factory

0 comments on “Trust me”

Trust me

We have all experienced it, you hit that magic mileage number or your vehicle says time for an oil change and off you go to the dealership or a speedy oil change to take care of it. Most of you probably know where I am going next.  You roll in for the fast service and then it begins.  The parade of items that your vehicle needs that are just about to wear out and without them, you are putting the lives of yourself and children into uncaring hands.  The air filter, windshield wipers, brakes, complete system flush and it goes on.  You then begin the internal battle of are they telling me the truth or not.  Our spouse has said don’t ever let them talk you into anything you don’t need.  We then become conditioned to not trust anyone at the dealership or at the oil change place.   Whether they are telling the truth or not the fact that a lot have “oversold” people in the past has made our first impression and belief to be we can’t trust them.

So let’s take this into our business lives.  Depending on the research you look at it shows around 33% of employees do not trust their management.  That is not a good place to be operating from and can have an impact on the performance of your business in many ways.  Without trust, idea implementation is much more challenging.  So the growth and the development of your business has hurdles in front of it due to this trust statistic even before you do anything else.  We can go on with examples, but let’s look at what we can do about it to help our business outperform the many others.

We often talk about knowing yourself before managing others and the same applies here.  We need to ask ourselves who is it that I trust or do not trust and the whys behind those feelings.  As we explore those answers we then have to ask how I as a manager measure up to that expectation of trust.  This is the easiest way to understand what may or may not have people trusting you and where your gaps may be that need attention.  Trust requires consistent behaviors of honesty/integrity, competency in our work and a real caring for our employees.  All of these items seem simple and we all say we do them all the time, and if we all did there would not be 33% of the workforce that did not trust their management.  There are ways to improve and help build trust in your teams and we work on these behaviors in classroom and development programs every day.  The main thing is awareness and the commitment to build trust and leadership by exhibiting the correct behaviors and living by them.  As always easier said than done.  Persistence to working on this daily will deliver the positive results.  Tools and techniques will make this a bit easier.

Wishing you success and growth.


© copyright The Growth Factory 2017

0 comments on “What Happened To You?”

What Happened To You?

As a manager and a leader have you ever had that moment where you say what happened to the person I hired?  They look the same, sound the same, but behaviors have changed to the point where you do not recognize them anymore.  How did you get here?   When did things change?  Most importantly…  How do you fix it?  How do you stop it from happening in the future?

Now that you have identified something needs to change where to start.  You must first address how it happened.  These things never happen overnight, it may feel that way but truth is they erode over time and as managers we own the responsibility of not letting that happen.  I know what you are thinking…  my responsibility?  Really?  Yes really…  It is easier to blame the employee, but we need to grow and enable our employees all the time not just when we need something from them.  As leaders, we must always keep our employees top of mind and their development our focus.  What about the business needs and driving goals and revenues??  Yep…  You need to do that as well.  Managers get caught in this trap a lot of which is more important.  And how do I find the time to fix it.

Where do we find more time?  Delegating to these same employees we are concerned about is one way to create more time for what is needed for both parties.  So the first place I always look is there.  Are you doing things others should be doing so that you can focus on what is most important (business goals and team development)?  Empower your team and elevate yourself.  Accountability is another area that is often missed.  Has there been consistency in this area to keep the employee sharp and delivering results?  If leaders do not have consistency in expectations it has a negative effect on yourself and your employee(s).  Education and development are critical to keeping employees growing and increasing contributions to the business.  If we fall short here we will see the employee stall and not keep up with what we have set in our minds as their performance level we are expecting, but not playing our part in developing.    As leaders/managers sometimes we miss the obvious that we do not have enough time to do it all ourselves either and can benefit from third party development assistance.  Use the sources that you have access to if you have that luxury.

Next time that employee(s) seems to have changed and fallen below standard.  Take these steps to help regain momentum and to make sure they don’t happen again:  Delegate to enable growth,  Accountability to avoid getting off track, and education and development to help show them the path for future responsibility.

Wishing you great growth!!


© copyright The Growth Factory 2017