What Richard Branson Can Teach Recruiters About Delegation – Part 1

Posted by nicky

March 24th, 2015

Go on any management course and there will be a session on the power of delegation. I know I have been a delegate at a number of events that include this topic and its even part of my own Billing Manager Programme.

The reason why delegation is taught so consistently is that it isn’t easy; especially for dynamic business owners who are used to controlling everything.

John Hunt a London business school professor revealed that only 30 percent of managers think they can delegate well, and of those, only one in three is considered a good delegator by his or her subordinates. This means only about one manager in ten really knows how to empower others. Time to look for a role model to follow whose experience could help recruiters. Enter Sir Richard Branson.

A practical case study-Virgin

Whenever he is interviewed and asked how the Virgin empire came to be what it is, the conversation soon gets round to delegation.

 

virgin0

 Image courtesy of Virgin

 

“Virgin’s ability to grow and diversify successfully was set in the company’s early days, with my learning how to delegate and let go.-Sir Richard Branson”

The interesting insight from Richard’s journey is that it is a great template for recruitment company growth.

Many recruiters reading this blog are from organisations with less than 100 people and are founded by one or two ambitious individuals, often with an entrepreneurial streak.

The exact recipe for success according to the Virgin boss.

He often recounts the story of being in a small team and giving projects to employees who were enthusiastic with a drive to succeed; sound familiar?

Lessons for recruiters

Richard says that a blessing of starting ‘young’ is that he wasn’t hampered by how he was meant to run his organisation. Having never worked in a corporate setting he hadn’t realised it wasn’t the ‘done thing’ to delegate projects and tasks to inexperienced yet capable, and ambitious employees.

 

happy young business woman  with her staff,  people group in bac
 

This meant he could be nimble and embrace a different way of working and delegating. So much so that as each Virgin Company reached 100 employees a new venture was started with the talent from one company moving over to ‘birth’ the new organisation.

I work with a lot of recruitment organisations both here and in Europe and Richard Branson’s start up experience is almost identical to the brand story I see in the companies I help.

Ambitious girls and guys that power through, spinning a number of plates; biller, resourcer, accountant, trainer, marketer, tech wizard and general all round fighter of fires.

All good and commendable; nothing like sharing how many hours you worked last week is there ?

Do you think Richard Branson found it easy? At first I doubt he did like any skill, it needs honing and there will be learning points along the way.

A strategy he advocates is to start delegating as soon as possible.

I can hear the gulp from many people reading this and I do understand how you feel; I am a recovering workaholic #icandoitquickermyself type of person and even now, significant others in my life suggestion it might be useful to take a break.

I can understand your fear and I suspect a number of questions are going on for you; am I right?

 

Boss delegating work to female employee
 

Common excuses I hear about why delegation isn’t a good option

  • I am the best at this
  • They can’t do it like me
  • I can’t afford it
  • What if they get it wrong?
  • ………….I tried it once and it was a disaster!

Want to know where to start. I am going to cover that in part 2. Before I go a summary of why you need to read that next article.

The facts about delegation

  • Delegation has great rewards
  • It isn’t easy; unless you follow a plan
  • Start sooner rather than later
  • It works for Sir Richard Branson……………….you might find a cheap Island in the Caribbean
  • I have a number of strategies for you to use that work
  • It will help you grow a self-managed business

I hope you found this article useful.  If you would like some more tips on how to deal with the inner game or help your team to deal with their inner game – Join my FREE Webinar The 6 Step System to Convert Your Under Performers to High Billers in 14 days or Less’ 

Click on this link to sign up: 6 Steps Convert your Under Performers to High Billers

 

Warmest regards,

 

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