What do you do if you are in the I try to train them but they dont seem to catch on so I just do it myself DEATHTRAP?
Some business owners feel that they need to be the first one at work each day and the last to leave each evening. There is a common belief that if you want anything done right you have to do it yourself. This common belief is the deathtrap for any executive or would-be executive.
Being responsible does not mean doing all the work. A business owner or executive that does all the work and handles all of the dropped balls in the practice is not an executive.
Per the New Websters Concise Dictionary of the English language, an executive is 1) having the function or skill of executing and 2) having ability or aptitude for directing or controlling. In other words, you put into effect what you need done. But an executive doesnt necessarily DO it himself. He sees that is gets DONE, by others. If the executive does it himself, then that executive is no different than the person he hires to do that particular job technically. And believe it or not, that employee will not consider that he needs to do his job if the executive does it for him.
Please note that second definition above states, directing or controlling. Again, this does not mean that the executive has to handle everything. He just sees to it that everything is handled. In essence, an executive is someone who can get others to do the work. It is certainly OK to jump in and handle things, but at what point should he be able to turn the reins over to his team and have them get the show on the road?
The staff member with the greatest responsibility should be an executive regardless of degrees bestowed upon him or her. If a person can rationally direct his or her environment, then he or she is responsible. If a person can rationally direct a larger part of his/her environment (including others then that person is executive material. The bigger the environment that person can rationally take charge of and direct is your higher executive in the chain of command of executives.
The key word is rationally. If you have someone that directs others to get them to get the job done, but does it in such a way that all their subordinates are cowed or in fear of this executive because he/she bites their head off every time they even breathe wrong then this person is NOT responsible! Yeah, the employees may seem to get their jobs done, but are they happy? Do they feel like they are in a safe environment? Do they have certainty that they can do the job correctly? I can guarantee you that those employees are much less productive then they would be in an environment where that executive actually got them to do their job by helping them to increase their own self-determinism – rather than making less of them. But helping them to increase their own self-determinism does not make that executive a push-over either – they can assume the correct attitude depending on the situation at hand. And by getting their juniors to be more self-determined, they are in actuality rationally directing their environment where those juniors will start getting their jobs done even better and thereby ease that executives workload so that executive can start helping you even more!
The office manager who cannot exert his/her influence over the staff to rationally direct the scene has no business being the office manager. The VP of Operations who does nothing more than give you problems to handle is not being responsible at all. You have only lessened the number of people who present problems (not solutions) to you by appointing that person as VP of Operations, but you are still getting the problem nevertheless.
The importance of this data is simply to get you to take a look at whom you can count on to step up and who you may need to exert a little encouragement toward increasing their responsibility per the definition above.
Many times owners consider that they are quite responsible but if they look at the number of dropped balls that they have to pick up they would be astounded. Lets take a look at some scenarios concerning your staff in a Responsibility vs. Irresponsibility equation:
Staff Member 1 This is the staff member who has to run most everything by you. Remember that this staff member is created because you solved their problems and an owner who is good at solving the problems of his or her staff gets more problems from his or her staff.
Staff Member 2 This is the staff member who I affectionately call the null employee or the employee of no value. This is the staff member who you really should fire, but may lack the courage to do so. You may make excuses such as, She is very nice. Another one is, but the patients really like her. Unfortunately, he or she was hired to do a job and the job has to be done by someone so you give it to the busiest person in the office, the one you can always count on to get things done. You give it to staff member 3.
Staff Member 3 This is someone who is a mover and shaker. This is the person who can usually run circles around anyone else. Perhaps this is your office manager. When this staff member is doing her own work she does great but when you dump Staff Member 2s work onto her the overall effectiveness of Staff Member 3 is lessened and then important work does not get done.
Staff Member 4 This is the staff member who was able to handle anything but unfortunately she made a mistake and you bit her head off. Now she runs about half of what she does by you and is only half as effective. This staff member chooses to be less responsible because it is safer to be this way.
In the Irresponsible You situation your business still expands but the expansion is rested almost exclusively on your shoulders. These staff will want a raise at least annually, but the money comes directly from your pocket. I have seen this type of business time and time again where it is large, but the owner makes less than 15% of the total income and has all the headaches.
The Responsible You: In this scenario you have an owner who knows how to make the organization expand with certainty and passes that knowledge effectively to the willing staff members in the organization and assists them to get the show on the road. The more responsible you are you will guide the staff toward greater and greater responsibility in their respective spheres of influence.
In this scenario you have a rapidly expanding organization, a real team that is coordinated who has earned everything they should be receiving from you as in bonuses, advancements, training and acknowledgements.
In this scenario you also have a life because a business should give you life and not take it away from you. It is the scenario you should be operating in and is the ideal scene for you to work towards. It is attainable.