You’ve heard it over and over again as CEO—delegate, delegate, delegate! Learning how to delegate is crucial for every CEO, yet research shows that one of the top areas board directors say CEOs still need to work on is “sharing leadership/delegation skills.”
With all of this focus on delegation, is there such a thing as over-delegation? You are, after all, CEO—NOT Chief Delegation Officer. So while it is important to delegate some things, not everything should be delegated.
Below are 5 areas of your business that are your responsibility to always monitor closely:
1) Quality Standards
As CEO of your company, as soon as you stop paying attention to the quality of your products and services, so will the rest of your employees. While you can delegate quality control to employees, you cannot delegate setting the quality standard. That comes from the top and should be protected by the top. The quality of your product or service will only be as high as the bar you set as CEO. No one has sharper eyes, ears, and intuitive knowledge of what quality means for your company than you.
2) Financial Health
Having your accounting and reporting tasks performed by trained CFOs and accountants is necessary, but what is not necessary is to yield all decisions about your company’s future and supporting tactical initiatives to your financial team. While your financial team is your right hand, you are exclusively responsible for telling that right hand which tasks to focus on accomplishing to maintain the financial health of your business.
Innovation can come from anywhere with your company, but that doesn’t mean that it will magically appear without some direction, guidance, support and resources from the top. As CEO, you are in the unique position to set goals, decide on a direction, establish processes, and make the choices in which innovations your company will invest. Stop doing these things and innovation at your company will stop.
With every hire your company makes, the future success of your business either moves forward or it moves backward. You must be involved when the stakes are that high, but it is not always feasible to be involved in every hiring decision when your company is hiring hundreds or thousands of employees. So which hiring decisions should you not delegate? Always take the time, no matter how busy your schedule is, to interview the final candidates for your direct reports and your direct report’s reports.
5) Brand Messaging
There are a lot of smart professionals who can help you refine and communicate your brand message, but that doesn’t mean they are capable of extrapolating the core essence of your company to the depth that you are. You don’t want to create your company’s message in a vacuum, but you also shouldn’t hand the reigns over entirely to your marketing department or an outside marketing consultant. It can be useful to get a new perspective, but what your business stands for at its essence has to be defined by you, not delegated. Once the core reason your company is in business is established, let the polishing begin!
Want to learn more about how to survive in this new era of sales? Keep an eye out for the upcoming book: Life After the Death of Selling: How to Thrive in the New Era of Sales