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We don’t need to do this journey on our own

One of the first lessons I learned when I was promoted to a manager was that I could no longer do all the work that needed to get done by myself. I was no longer ‘doing the tasks’, I had taken on the responsibility of ‘making them happen’, which was a very difficult transition for me.

The transition from worker to manager was made all the more harder because I moved from a department where I pretty much knew how to do everything to one where I knew nothing of the work any of the people currently doing it. I felt lonely and isolated and as I discovered many years later, this is a familiar situation for most newly promoted managers.

With the benefit of hindsight and years of added wisdom, let me tell you the best place to start when you are in such a position.

For me, the first thing that was very clear was that I needed help. Actually, the very first thing was establishing what I was responsible for and then I started looking for help. And the help I needed most was from the people I was managing.

I needed help to understand the work processes, the challenges being faced and the relationships between the twenty-two members of the team. It was a daunting task indeed that left me feeling very uncomfortable, extremely inadequate and so insecure.

What made it worse was that, at that time of my life, I saw asking for help very much as a weakness and not the strength I believe it is today.

Think about this for a moment; when we set up our business, often we try and do it all by ourselves. The marketing, the operation, the planning, the books and the filing! Not to mention the emails, the social media and the cleaning. And then we wonder why we feel tired, behind, stressed and worried. Asking for help in this instance often means taking on staff who are equipped to deal with some of these things.

And I am often told that affordability is the main reason that business owners are reluctant to take on staff, but often we use finance as an excuse not to take action and the real reason we don’t ask for help and hire people, I believe is uncertainty.

The uncertainty of knowing what tasks to get them to do, the uncertainty of whether there is enough work for them to do, wondering if they will do it as well as you do, what if…..what if…the list goes on.

To me, the real question is what if I don’t…..surely that creates a much worse situation?

I also want to consider the talents of your people because it’s about what people can do for you but also about the best use of your people. We all have the ability to do anything if we set our hearts and minds to it, but we are all naturally better, or talented towards some things more than others. That means we find some things easier than other people do, dependant on our learning, experience and skills.

When you start to build or grow your business, look for tasks that need to be done around your core skill, or tasks that help make your work easier and make those into a job

description and start bringing in help that makes work easier, business better, life happier.

And you can start gently by bringing in an intern, a temp or a part time person before committing to a full time staff member

Take growth at the pace you are comfortable with and then build it up, but one thing is for sure, once you start getting help, you’ll realise it’s one of the best actions you took.

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