Play a Team Game (Part 3)

IN business, as in sport, you are nowhere without the team. In some cases that might be as an individual with an entourage of people to help out.

Delegation is one key area of playing that team game well. Doing so will allow you to make maximum use of the resources available to you, for the benefit of the group. Different personalities can bring a lot of added value to the team and delegating a task can mean that person grows and learns new skills.

Thinking about who you will hand a particular task to is important. An urgent project might need someone who is quick, experienced and knows what they’re doing. A task that can take longer might be better suited to a person who has never had the opportunity to undertake that kind of work. They need that string to their bow to allow them, and the company/team, to benefit. Short-term gain is vital – so to is the longer-term development of those around you.

Also, make sure you pass on interesting work and not just that you couldn’t be bothered to do yourself. Then, having given them the tools and the guidelines, such as time parameters, quality required etc, give that individual a free rein to get on with it, without intereference, although make sure they know you are there to offer help if need be.

As a leader, look after your team’s interests, whether inside or outside the organisation. Get your staff what they need, and back them to the hilt. Otherwise they might become demotivated if they see others getting something they need but haven’t got themselves.

And give your people the credit if something goes well – while taking the blame yourself if the team mess up. Not much can generate more loyalty than a boss accepting responsibility for others actions.


  • chris

    Enjoy the team game angle it's great. It really is a must that people delegate. I know someone who is a business owner who has never had a holiday because he won't pass on work, he just doesn't trust anyone to do it.Because of that, he is always tired and more importantly, there is a real danger that his staff aren't picking up the knowledge they should because he isn't allowing them to learn and take on new responsibilities. How are his people going to get experience if they are not allowed to take on some of the important work. It needs to be passed on for the benefit of everybody involves, not least the business itself which can only benefit if people have knowledge and are being allowed to stay motivated by learning and taking on more information.

  • mark

    You have to delegate as a businessman otherwise you are simply not giving the team a chance to develop. It's a nonsense for business owners not to have the confidence in their own staff, who they employed, over tasks that they could do and get on with without interference. I know of business owners who don't go on holiday too. Because they can't leave the business. That can only be a bad thing for everybody concerned in the long run. And productivity is bound to be affected. What if that person was to be off work. How would the business cope then?

  • chris

    That's where key person insurance comes in Mark. That issue needs to be addressed within the business before that eventuality becomes a reality.

  • mark

    I appreciate key person is exactly what it says on the tin. Passing on knowledge to others is risky though. You are giving people perhaps your own unique selling point and your reason for being the focal point of the business. There are those who could exploit that situation and leave you vulnerable. Sometimes, knowledge is power that you are loathe to want to share. I can understand having seen it from both sides.

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