"We are not capable of everything." Virgil
New employees do not come with a warranty.
Disappointments are a way of life in business: remember that someone you just hired who turned out to be a loser?
That may be your fault! No one has to tell you that your employees play a vital role in the success of your business, that they are part of your company image, that they reflect your judgment, that they demonstrate your attitude. And that they show your business style.
When you hire a new employee, you are making an investment in a resource of your company. It is a commitment of your time and money - not a warm body to fill a vacant slot that you can always fire if things do not work out. You must realize that a poor choice on your part can be damaging to the success of your business. Do you recall my recent column on "Slick Willie" and the damage he did?
Watch out for snap decisions and the thought "let us hope for the best." Be cautious and suspicious of past claims of success. Unknowingly, a friend hired an office administrator who was fresh from personal bankruptcy. It was not long before bookkeeping errors and cash shortages began to appear. It was a difficult situation. As the boss, it is up to you to hire only productive employees who contribute to your success. Your business is not a place to reward friends or family members with a weekly check and a place to hang out. If you do wind up with the wrong person - and you will at times - cut your losses as soon as possible. Don't be misled by wishful thinking that the person will change. Most people don't. Your business is not a rehabilitation center offering hope for humanity. Become successful and later start a foundation.
Show your leadership skills by hiring the right people; recognizing that character, attitude, and ambition are as important as education, and experience.
You always make the correct decisions - right?
As the boss, you have the right to make all the decisions; but should you? If you do, the mistakes are yours. Be aware your emotions, prejudices, and personality quirks will influence your decisions - for good or bad!
Sharing the decision-making responsibility with employees, spouses, or partners allows collective judgment that may result in better decisions, but may cause delay. How much you bring other people into the process depends on the quality of your human resources; but whatever approaches you elect, the ultimate responsibility is yours.
Individuals who have difficulty deciding things need to be careful about pushing that responsibility onto others as a way of avoiding decisions. Too much delegation of decision-making can be foolhardy, as no one but you is risking any money.
However, if you see yourself as a coach, with a team of employees that will make your success possible, then sharing opinions can be valuable to you. If you respect the opinion of your employees, you may respect their judgment as well. The autocratic military approach to management is passé. Usually, an intelligent, educated and well-informed employee will not work for a dictator. Although time consuming, collective judgment can reduce the risk of bad decisions and encourage employee loyalty and support.
How much should you delegate and involve your employees in deciding the issues of your company? It depends on you and the type of leadership you are most comfortable with. Regardless of your style, there will always be some issues only you can decide. The larger the risk, the more the decision must be yours alone - but the more you may need the views of others.
To avoid those bad decisions that can put you out of business, approach your problems with critical thinking and objectivity. Acting on impulse will stack the odds against you.
Recently, I came across a short book on management, promoting intuition, or listening to your inner voice for guidance. As I am not a psychologist, or a spiritualist, I do not consider myself qualified to support or criticize the "intuitive approach to management." However, I do know from personal experience there have been times I listened to "my gut" and things worked out. Decide for yourself!
Article é Copyright 2001 Dr. Paul E. Adams. Syndicated by Paradigm News, Inc.