We have Bobby Umar joining us today to give some valuable advice on leadership and delegation! FYI, Bobby is holding an event in Downtown Toronto next week. Learn more about the Develop Your Personal Brand (DYPB) conference, including how to get your 25% discount on tickets to DYPB, courtesy of CFIB.
Recently I took on a monster project in my small business. A major conference, with lots of moving parts. You know, one of those huge events that only you realize at first how much of a big deal it is and how it will take a ton of resources to execute. More importantly, it’s one of those monumental tasks that you know you cannot do alone.
So now, you have to ask for help. You have to build the team. You have to find people to step up and take on leadership roles because you cannot be the omnipresent leader. You have to rely on them to manage the other team members because this creates the scale you need in order to have that massive impact. If you think that is hard so far, what other great challenge must you face?
You have to let go. I think we all have a bit of a micro-manager in us. I first realized this when I got married and was barking at my friends to make sure everything was in place just for the stag & doe party. My good friend pulled me aside (more like threw me against a car) and said
‘Bobby, relax! Here is the set-up; here is the itinerary; Now relax and let us do it!”
The good part was that she handled everything, including me, with precision and class. The bad part was that I saw the Mr. Burns (from the Simpsons) in me for the first time.
Back to the conference, as the team built up and the project started to move, other things started to come on my plate. I was budget conscious and insisted on approving every piece that needed funds. Heck, I was paying for it. Shouldn’t I have a say? I also wanted to hear from every team lead. Pretty soon, I became inundated with e-mails, hemming and hawing at some of the more elaborate expenses. Some team members left (was it me?), others joined in. Some were awesome while others challenged my leadership development. But I always insisted on making sure I was building leaders, setting expectations and making myself open and accessible. Most importantly, I brought people in based on my vision, during the process I reinforced the vision, and finally left them with the vision.
“The secret is to work less as individuals and more as a team. As a coach, I play not my eleven best, but my best eleven.” — Knute Rockne
I decided to trust the team. I mean, I did before, but only to a point. This time I let go in a way that let them manage, create and shine. What I found out was powerful. Certain leaders stepped up and really took charge of the processes and systems required to make the project a success. Instead of me always giving feedback to improve every little detail, they were coming up with creative ideas to improve everything. I was still involved, but only when they asked me just to support them.
You see, the vision was clear. This set up an expectation, a work ethic and a set of values to live and work by. The team was full of leaders, who were now able to express themselves more fully. The vision and the people were connected to the overall goal of the project and sought to enhance and support the processes needed for success. It was remarkable to watch.
“When you hand good people possibility, they do great things.” — Biz Stone
This whole experience reminds me of being a parent. We work so hard to support, nurture and grow our children from infancy to the initial stage of childhood. There is a point where all our hard work is manifesting itself in everything they are doing. But we can’t steer their lives forever.
So trust the team. If you invested in them and built them as leaders, they will shine.
Trust the process. A great team will find ways to do things better than one person alone can figure out.
Trust the vision. If both you and the team can see it, they will believe they can do it, they will ask for the support required and they will make it happen.
Bobby Umar, President & Leadership Catalyst, Raeallan
Bobby Umar is one of the most prolific heart-based leaders in North America. Inc Magazine named him one of the Top 100 Leadership Speakers, named alongside such noteworthy giants as Richard Branson, Brene Brown and John Maxwell. Bobby is a 4x TEDx speaker, and a social media influencer, with over 400,000 followers. He has been named the 2nd best business coach to follow on Twitter and the 4th best leadership influencer via Kred. Bobby is an international author of two books, including his #1 Amazon Best-Seller “How to Network Anytime, Anywhere, with Anyone” and is a Huffington Post contributor.
Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat & Instagram: @raehanbobby