Are you a control freak or can you let go?

by Paul Slezak
Candidates, Hiring Talent, Recruitment, SMEs - 9 years ago

If you haven’t already read “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, I cannot recommend it enough. A friend of mine leant it to me recently and I have to say I thought it was genius.

Whilst our blog is not a forum for me to review books, many of the authors’ ideas really resonated with me. While reading Rework on a flight last week, one message in particular stood out – so much so that I scribbled it down on the back of my boarding pass.

Never hire anyone to do a job until you’ve tried to do it yourself first. That way, you’ll understand the nature of the work. You’ll know what a job well done looks like …”

This comment also got me thinking about the fear that some business owners have, not just in making the decision around who to actually hire into the business, but also the fear around having to actually let go of certain tasks once the new person comes on board.

Anyone who has started a new business has probably grown quite accustomed to doing it all – cold calling, client meetings, answering the phones, sending the invoices, picking up the mail, fixing the printer, reconciling all the accounts, and perhaps even maintaining your own website.

So it becomes quite a big deal when you decide to bring somebody on board. There’s so much to take into consideration – not just around when to introduce somebody new into the mix or what you will actually get them to do, but the fact that you are becoming an employer overnight – and with that you are suddenly faced with even more responsibilities.

But many business owners at some stage also face the conundrum of do I bring someone new in to do this, or am I really better off just doing it myself?

Business writer Susan Ward explains that no matter what stage of development your business is at, you don’t have to wear all the hats and perform every task yourself. “Shuck some hats and delegate”, she says.

In your mind you know what a job well done looks like. You just have to have faith that once you explain to a new employee exactly what you expect, that they, too, will do it to the best of their ability and that this will meet your incredibly high expectations.

Nobody wants to have to feel like that they have to be on game 24 x 7. Once you get over the hurdle of making the decision to bring somebody new into the business, as long as you invest some effort into the recruitment process, and appreciate that letting go of certain tasks will make your life easier, then things will only get better.