Posted by: Eric Wichhart | November 4, 2011

Delegation vs. Abdication

A mistake many business owners make is that they abdicate responsibilities instead of delegating responsibilities. Most often this is not the fault of the owner, as many owners started off as a technician and as their business grew, they became a manager. They have no real experience or training in running a business; they are sometimes just flying by the seat of their pants and doing the best that they can.

The differences between these two different styles of leadership can make or break an organization. When a leader abdicates a responsibility, they basically hand over one of their hats to an employee with little or no training or follow up. Abdication leads to inconsistencies in competition of work, balls getting dropped and in the end can lead to unhappy employees and customers. In reality when a responsibility is abdicated, the leader is being unfair to their employee, customer and themselves. It is a vicious cycle, the employer gives the employee a job with little or no training, the employee does the work as best as they can do, the customer is not happy because the lack of consistency, they customer calls to complain to the owner, the owner yells at the employee, the employee becomes unhappy because they are doing the best they can as to what their boss told them and will next time be less inclined to do a good job. What a vicious cycle we have created, as the cycle didn’t start with the employee, but the owner. A sign of a company in this cycle is one that has high turnover of both customers and employees.

This cycle normally occurs in young companies, maybe 1 or 2 employees. This most often occurs in companies that are trying to stretch out of the baby stages, as the owners are still trying to get their feet wet in management and are trying to wear so many hats that they do not have time to properly train new employees.

To break this cycle you must stop where you are and get on the right track. I know it is so easy to run full speed all the time, but in reality you are wasting so much time, energy and money on this cycle that if you would just grab control, the madness would end.

See Part 2 of this article End The Madness.



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