Business coach Peter Drucker dispensed some sage advice that still rings true decades later:
Do what you do best and outsource the rest.
What comes to mind when you hear that mantra? An immediate list likely appears of all the tasks you know are not the greatest use of your efforts and energy. In the 15 seconds you’ve spent visualizing that list, you may already have vowed to no longer waste time on select mundane projects or responsibilities that fill your plate. “I really need to hire someone to manage my schedule” or “someone else should be responsible for compiling our weekly reports” are certainly reasonable, but the outsourcing we cover here is far more strategic.
Instead of viewing outsourcing as a chance to create more time for you, shift instead to think through how outsourcing could actually create an opportunity for others within your team.
Stop thinking of outsourcing as the things you no longer want to do, and look instead at the opportunities you could create for others. A great leader is always one step ahead of career path advancement for key contributors. Take a moment (or a few hours) to evaluate each direct report you have; do you know who each are capable of becoming over the next few years and beyond? Now, what do you need to teach each of them to advance their responsibilities and skill-sets?
You have now defined your first round of opportunistic outsourcing.
Think less about performance management and think more about professional development. Do you spend the same amount of time talking about where you see a key contributor’s career going as you do talking about how they are doing with deadlines or quotas? Is your coaching equally dedicated to skills that will help them achieve in their current role just as much as prepare them for the next step you believe they could grow into? Do you purposefully put key contributors in situations in which they may fail, but that failure propels growth?
At times, you may need to believe in others a little more than they believe in themselves. The best leaders help their team members discover their genius.
Not sure what to outsource, and to whom? Challenge yourself to get to know those on your team. Ask questions to assess the present and design the future:
- When you come to work each day, what things do you look forward to?
- What are you learning here? What have you not yet been given the chance to take on, that you’d like to?
- What can I do to make your experience here better?
- What would you be excited to take on? (projects, responsibilities, clients)
- When was the last time you feel like you massively over-delivered on something? What was it, and why did you work so hard?
- What would make you listen to a call you’d get from a recruiter? Be honest; no judgment!
- What’s on your personal and professional bucket list?
- Fast-forward a year (two years, five years) from now; what would you be most proud of having accomplished?
Even when individuals take on difficult challenges, their performance will drastically increase if they are involved in the decision. Those who volunteer look at projects as developmental, while those who are assigned regard the task as hard labor. Take the initiative now to truly engage the hearts and minds of your team, so they one day will have the ability to opportunistic outsource to the next generation of future leaders within your business.
Horizon Hospitality is a member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices. Executive Search Review has recognized Sanford Rose Associates® as the 9th largest search firm in the world. To learn more about building a confident team and environment, contact Horizon Hospitality executive search associate today.