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Delegate and develop

This is all about making some prudent investments. In this case, investing in people.

Delegation is vital in a high growth business. Growth means you have to let go and move on - to more important things. So don't keep doing what you are no good at e.g. finance. You had to do it when the business was only you, but now get someone else to do it. Don't do tasks just because you enjoy them - the needs of the business must come first. Your time is a key resource - so use it wisely by focusing on the things that are really important - don't mistake urgent for important. Always ask "Do I really need to be doing this?" Once you have decided to delegate, then do it properly. Explain to who it is you are delegating to, why you are delegating, why the task is important, the outcomes you are looking for, how you will monitor. Then let them get on with it. They won't do it exactly the way you did - but it's the outcome that matters. Support and encourage but don't step back in - let them discover the best way to do the task, let them experiment. Above all, let go.

The second 'D' is develop. Which doesn't mean train! Training is fine - for dogs and cats! With people it's all about development. The best development occurs on the job, in the workplace where it can be applied, where it can immediately add value to the business. As your business gets bigger, don't make the mistake of imitating large PLCs and large public sector organisations. They spend a fortune on sending staff on a whole host of expensive, fancy, external training courses. It's invariably a huge waste of time and money. Let your competitors go on all those 4-5 day off site management training courses. At Winning Pitch, we never take people off site for more than one day at a time - and on any programme the bulk of time is spent actually back in the workplace helping people apply the tools and techniques they learnt at one of our workshops or Masterclasses, in their own unique working environment. The best development occurs in-house, at the workplace. So invest some time in developing your people - with your own managers providing the necessary mentoring, coaching and training. All tailored to your own specific circumstances. Where people do go on external training courses, insist that, when they return, they then train others i.e. spread the learning among their colleagues - if it is useful learning it's very, very rare that only one person needs it.

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