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Are You a Do-It-All Leader? Here's Why You Should Stop.

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Have you heard the adage that goes something like: “as a leader goes, so goes a business.” This has been applied to teams and companies.

If the leader is sloppy, the business will be sloppy. If the leader is focused, the business will be focused.

Some business owners are hands-on and try to “do it all.” How do you think such a business will “go” or succeed?

A new business with a “do it all” leader may go very well, early on. When a business is small, it’s necessary that the leader do lots of things well.

But as a business grows, how much of the work can the leader reasonably do?

When a home repair business is small, it may have one job at a time. The owner can be at the job, supervising or even banging nails.

When a home repair business grows and is doing three jobs per day, can the owner be at all three? Unlikely.

If that same owner is also answering the phones and running sales leads, you can see how the business will quickly get out of control. Or hamper the company’s growth, forcing it to remain small.

Why do some business leaders continue to do ALL the work?

The leader’s mindset is often that they can do the work better than anyone else. Or that someone else will do it wrong. And so, the leader believes that if they don’t do the work, then the business will suffer.

This thinking is very limiting because one person can only do so much.

When one person does too many things, some things will not be done as well as others. But when one person takes on only one or two responsibilities, it's more likely that those things will be done well.

And so, the do-it-all leader’s thinking is flawed. The leader’s workload alone is enough to guarantee that other people, focused on one or two things, will do things better.

You can see, that if the leader is trying to “do it all,” then the business will struggle to grow beyond the level the leader can handle.

If a leader wants their business to grow, there’s one thing they have to get really good at. That one thing is delegation.

Larry Janesky's 12th HVAA 12th High Value Activity for Larry is to Learn to Delegate.

 Get good at delegation. Empower the people on your team. As a leader, you should give away as many things as you can. Then watch your business grow.

Downsides to the Leader Doing the Day-to-Day Work:

  • Leader focuses on work that others can be trained to do
  • Team never gets trained
  • Few things get done as well as they can be (sub-optimally)
  • The business can’t scale beyond the leader’s time and ability


Upsides to the Leader Delegating the Day-to-Day Work:

  • Leader is able to focus on the highest value activities (HVAs)
  • Team is well-trained & gains experience
  • Every job can be performed at the best level possible (optimally)
  • The business can scale beyond what one person can accomplish (beyond the leader’s imagination!)

About the author

Richard Fencil

Richard Fencil lives in Guilford, Connecticut with his wife and three sons. He works for Basement Systems in Seymour, CT that specializes in basement waterproofing, crawl space moisture control, foundation repair, and basement finishing.

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