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Delegate or die: How trying to do it all yourself will kill your business

"The lack of courage to delegate properly, and the knowledge of how to do it, is one of the most general causes of failures in organizations."


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November 12, 2014 by Steve Payne

During our RENO-SUMMIT one-day seminar last week near the Toronto Airport, Maryland-based contractor trainer Victoria Downing gave a superb presentation on Coaching and Accountability. The approx. 80 renovation contractors on hand gave the presentation high marks. It seems like delegation is something that we all struggle with in our small- and medium-sized businesses.

Victoria led off with a slide that said, “The lack of courage to delegate properly, and the knowledge of how to do it, is one of the most general causes of failures in organizations.”

To delegate properly, Victoria said that contractors need to¬†operate with “Clear Agreements” at the centre of every relationship between the contractor and his/her staff and/or subtrades.

“Clear Agreements” state exactly what the TASK involves.

What the OUTCOME is.

What ACTIONS will need to be taken.

What is the DEADLINE for accomplishing the goal.

What are the STAKES associated with accomplishing or not accomplishing the goal.

Amazing as it is to consider, renovations contractors – who are in a Scope of Work type of profession, with very clear tasks and outcomes stemming from the contracts that are signed – constantly seem to struggle with getting their people to respect outcomes, actions, deadlines and the stakes involved.

If you have changed the Clear Agreements you have with your people, let us know how you have changed them, and how you have raised the stakes to get them to do so.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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