The whole idea behind focusing on who rather than how is to have you get into the habit of delegating. As a business owner, this is especially important, because you simply don’t have time to personally address every little situation that comes up. If you’ve done a good job of hiring competent employees, there should always be someone on staff who can do a task or handle a situation at least as well as you can. In some cases, you may even have a specialist available who can handle something better than you could yourself.
So the point is, you need to divest yourself of the notion that when confronted with a situation, you start asking yourself ‘How can I get this done?’, and instead start asking ‘Who is the best person to handle this?’. When you become adept at this approach, you’ll find yourself with a great deal more time, which can all be spent on growing your business, and making better decisions. Continue reading to find out why this attitude is so essential for business growth, and why you need to make it part of your own strategy for conducting business.
Delegate and allow employees freedom
In order for this whole idea to work properly, you have to be willing to allow your employees to find their own best approach to handling a situation or solving a problem. It won’t do you any good to delegate a task and then provide the individual with recommendations on how to deal with it. That doesn’t build up any competence or experience for your employees. Instead, allow them to find ways of their own to deal with problems, and they’ll grow as a result. Each time your employees have to manage a specific problem, they will be gaining experience in that area and they’ll be better prepared for it the next time it happens.
It’s even a good idea to review your business schedule for the next 60-90 days, to see what tasks or situations will come up during that period. You can begin planning right then about some possibilities for who should handle the task. By involving your most competent employees, you’ll be accomplishing two very important goals. First of all, you’ll be providing them with growth opportunities, so they can become better workers for you, and can be more valuable to the company. Second, you’ll be freeing up your personal time so you can address more important issues that will help to keep the company running smoothly.
Freedom is a big component of the ‘who not how’ approach to problem-solving, and there are several different flavors of freedom associated with the idea:
- freedom of relationships – this comes about when you begin thinking of your employees as potential problem-solvers, rather than having yourself be responsible for everything. You can promote those relationships by encouraging workers to achieve personal growth, and by having them strive to learn all aspects of their job better.
- freedom from excessive cost – while it might initially cost you more money to have someone else handle a situation for you, eventually you’ll be reaping the rewards of delegation, when you begin to save money because someone else is handling it, while you are performing more business-critical tasks. When you can spend more time on managing the business, you’ll probably find that your business becomes more profitable, since you are devoting more time to efficient management and performance.
- freedom from wasting time – whenever you are not required to perform a certain task, you’ll be free to do something else, and that means you can focus on larger issues confronting your business. Once your employees become proficient at managing some tasks, they will become the go-to individuals for those tasks, and they’ll be the ones who can handle them most effectively. When that happens, you’ll be saving time because you have the best person for the job assigned.
- freedom of purpose – this simply means you’ll be able to pay attention to some of the larger issues in your personal life, because you’ll have more free time to devote to them. Some of these life-critical events might never have gotten done at all if you were still tied closely to your business, and couldn’t get away to address them.
When you have adopted the new strategy
You should notice some significant improvements in your business operations after you have fully embraced the ‘who not how’ philosophy. You should get a lot more accomplished each day, because you’re not personally required to attend to all the daily issues that pop up. Your employees will be more empowered, and they should undergo personal growth as a result. That should elevate the competence of your entire team, so that everyone in the business is more capable, and can handle much more than they could when originally hired.
You may even develop your employees to the point where one or more of them is capable of being a back-up for you, so that you can take a vacation now and then without harming the business. The better qualified your employees are, the stronger your team will be as a whole, and the better off your company will be. You’ll find that you have freed yourself up to tackle the most pressing issues of the day, and that your involvement is not required on all the lesser issues that typically confront a business.
Since you have more time to grow your business, you’ll find ways that can be of immediate help in achieving the kind of growth you’re looking for. That may be through researching mergers and acquisitions, or it may be through penetrating an entirely new market. Regardless of which growth strategies you might pursue, the point is that you’ll have the time you need to fully invest yourself so you can actually make it happen.