The delicate balance between the craving for control and the imperative to grow your business can mark the dividing line between a company that languishes and one that scales swiftly. Savvy leaders understand that empowering their team doesn’t dilute their authority but diversifies it strategically.
The saying “If you want something done right, do it yourself” may signify dedication to excellence, yet it might also be a barrier to the growth and vibrancy of your venture. To truly grow your business, the secret lies not in clutching the reins tighter but in masterful delegation.
In the African business landscape, as in its political sphere, there’s a notable reluctance to pass on the baton of control. However, this reluctance can inadvertently curb the growth leaders strive to achieve.
For rapid and robust scaling, African entrepreneurs and executives need to pivot from conventional power retention to empowering their workforce.
Let’s explore how:
Clear Vision: Your Business’ GPS
Imagine you’re on a road trip. You’ve got your GPS set, snacks stocked, and a full gas tank. Now, would you constantly micromanage your GPS, second-guessing every turn it suggests? Of course not! That’s what it’s like when you have a clear vision for your business. It’s your company’s GPS, and your job is to trust it as you grow your business.
A clear vision is like telling your team, “Hey, we’re going to the beach, and I want us all to enjoy the sun and the surf as we grow together.” It’s not about giving them a play-by-play on how to drive there. When your team knows what the end game looks like, they can make smart choices on how to get there, and you don’t need to ride a shotgun on every decision.
- Craft a clear, concise vision statement and communicate it effectively to all team members.
- Develop a strategic plan that outlines the goals and the steps needed to reach them. Make sure this plan is accessible to all team members.
- Set up regular check-ins to ensure the team’s actions align with the strategic direction.
- Create decision-making frameworks that guide team members in making choices that align with the company’s objectives.
- Encourage team members to ask questions and seek clarification to ensure understanding of the strategic blueprint.
ALSO READ: 5 Ways You’re Holding Yourself Back
Grow Leaders, Not Followers
Let’s talk about growing leaders within your ranks as a key strategy to grow your business. It’s not about handing out fancy titles or having people march behind you. It’s about spotting those individuals in your team who step up and seem ready for more. And you know what? They might not be the loudest or the ones always in the spotlight.
When you see someone with that spark, give them a little room to shine. Guide them, but let them make some calls and even some mistakes. And when they do something unique, show them the money! Or the recognition – whatever makes them tick. It tells everyone that stepping up and taking risks is not just okay; it’s rewarded.
- Identify potential leaders within your team and provide them with mentorship and development opportunities.
- Implement a reward system that acknowledges and compensates team members for taking calculated risks, even if those risks don’t always pay off.
- Offer leadership training programs to help aspiring leaders grow their skills.
- Encourage risk-taking by setting up a ‘safe-to-fail’ environment where employees can test new ideas without fear of punitive consequences.
- Recognise and celebrate achievements publicly to motivate others within the organisation.
Decision-Making: Be More Jazz, Less Symphony
Business today needs to be more jazz band than symphony orchestra, especially when you’re looking to grow your business. Why? Because jazz is all about improvisation. It’s fluid, it’s dynamic, and each player gets a solo.
In business, this means empowering your team to make decisions on the fly. Give them the main tune, but let them riff a little. However, sometimes, a note goes flat. That’s okay, too. It’s not about nailing every note; it’s about how the band keeps playing. When something doesn’t go as planned, don’t point fingers. Instead, use it as a teachable moment. Ask, “What can we do better next time?”
- Delegate small decisions to your team to build their confidence and decision-making skills.
- Encourage a culture of agility where quick, effective decisions are valued and rewarded.
- Provide clear boundaries within which team members can make decisions so they know the limits of their autonomy.
- Foster an environment of trust where employees feel their decisions are supported by leadership.
- When mistakes are made, focus on the learning opportunity rather than the error, and share these learnings with the team.
Business is like a balloon. Hold it too tight, and it’ll never inflate. Let it go too much, and it’ll fly away. But hold it just right, and it’ll soar. As you grow your business, bear in mind that empowerment isn’t a buzzword; it’s a growth strategy.
It means giving your team the vision, the space, and the trust to take your business to new heights. And remember, it’s not a one-time deal. It’s about staying consistent, being supportive, and keeping that vision in sight. So, go ahead and loosen that grip.
Warren Buffett, the American business magnate and investment genius, attributes his monume…