Delegating is tough for a lot of people regardless of their Personality Style. Delegating and not interfering is even harder. This past weekend I met someone who had that ability and I truly admired her for it.
While enjoying a 3 day motorcycle adventure through the mountains, Dave and I noticed a hands-on teaching facility about local animals and their environment. Upon exploration we learned the business had grown from the passion of the owner, let’s call her Anne. As I observed Anne it was obvious she had developed her program with an understanding of her personal strengths and weaknesses. Let me share what I observed:
The first part of the program was her lecture. The second portion was hands-on fun with the animals. Anne’s lecture was entertaining and informative. To the delight of the kids, she turned one of their dads into an animal by adding cloth appendages, describing the purpose of each as she added it. A young boy who was very excited started to interrupt her. While Anne responded to him gently, it was obvious to me that her patience with children was very lacking.
At the end of Anne’s lecture her assistants took some of the parents and all the kids to visit the animals. She stayed behind chatting with the remaining adults, an interaction she obviously enjoyed.
I admired the fact that she recognized where she was talented – teaching the class and interacting with the adults – and where she was not – handling the enthusiasm of the kids. I can see where, with her lack of patience, Anne might have gotten a bit cranky with the kids in the animal habitat as they excitedly bolted from one animal to the next! Not good for business. Instead, Anne had hired assistants with the patience she lacked and she let them do their job.
Many leaders don’t understand this. They rely on their strengths and ignore their weakness. This cripples their success. A great leader has the courage to not only acknowledge their personal weakness and hire someone who has that strength, but to also let them do their job without interference. Because this was something Anne was capable of doing her business is thriving!