We love first-time managers here at SaaSy – They are responsible for the care and development of front line workers, who are in turn the face of the company – It is important to remember that a brand is in fact the sum of experiences we have with a company, and so our front line managers are critical.
I am a fan of the work of Robert Glazer, who is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners. In a recent article he made some points that I think are worth reminding first-time managers of. He talks about two fallacies:
1) Many new managers expect delegation to immediately make things easier and get frustrated when that is not the case(Show them how to do it once and it shall be so!)
2) Delegation is successful only when something is done exactly how you would have done it yourself.
The 85 Percent Rule of Delegation
Robert has an elegant solution to both. He says that effective delegation is when something is done 85 percent how you would have done it yourself, without you having to be involved.
I like this a lot – The key to success is making sure that others understand what 85% looks like and what the path and timeline looks like to get there.
The 85% rule can be quantified for some things – Win rates, sales cycles, customer attrition, account growth, development velocity etc… For other things it is more subjective and in my experience just takes a critical eye deciding that ‘good enough’ is the goal. An example: When reviewing proposals or outbound email/marketing content, it is inevitable you could find improvement – The key to effective delegation is to quickly get to the point where you don’t feel the need to review. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is a skill every effective leader must cultivate.