Work Your List

In last week’s Great Idea, we talked about the importance of finding and developing right-hand men and women. Because when you fill and foster these key positions, you lessen dependence on yourself as CEO and you greatly grow the value of your company.

I asked you to take some time this past week to make a list of everything you do as CEO. And then I asked you to go back through your list and identify every task on it that someone else on your team now could do at least 80% as well as you.

How did that go? It can be an eye-opening exercise for those of us who have built our on companies from the ground up. We tend to think we’re indispensable and therefore we have to be involved in every decision. Making this list forces us to get over our own egos and accede that there are a great many things that others on our teams can effectively take the reins on.

This week look back over your list and make note of which members of your team have the potential to take over different responsibilities. These are the folks you want to foster.

You do this first by testing them. Give them a set task, with a set timeframe and a set goal, and see how they do. Talk to them about your vision for the company and their place in it; do they share it? If they clear these hurdles, delegate more responsibility to them. And if problems arise, resist the urge to jump in right away to fix them. Give your team members the time and space to succeed, or fail. In time you’ll figure out who can truly grow into the role of a right-hand man or woman, and who just isn’t cut out for it.

It’s one of the smartest things you’ll ever do for your business.