Business Rule #20: |
Give Respect to Gain It
March 4, 2005
by Marlene Caroselli
John Gafford was right on the money when he said the circus theme was a metaphor for the way Net Worth was operating. You had clowns chewing tobacco and the project manager chewing out her clowns. The circus atmosphere continued even into the boardroom, where Audrey Evans—beautiful, smart, personable, and young, as she reminded us all hour long—asked to bring three people in with her: Angie McKnight for support; and Craig Williams and John as firing targets.
The plan backfired, though, when Angie herself named Audrey as the person she would fire. Why the betrayal? It all boils down to respect. Audrey didn't get it from her team, and she sure didn't get it from Donald Trump, who fired her, without much of a debate. His sidekicks didn't object to his decision either.
While Angie no doubt liked Audrey and went to great lengths to protect her, she was realistic enough to know leaders earn respect. It's why people follow them. And the Net Worthers weren't following Angie's lead, which wasn't much of a lead at all. Basically, she told them to do their own thing. That way, if things went wrong, she knew whom to blame. But John stopped her blame-game dead on when he wisely pointed out in the boardroom, "If I was doing such a terrible job, why didn't you step in and fix things?"
It's not enough to delegate. You heard Donald Trump say it: you need to follow up. Needless to say, Audrey didn't do that. Because she didn't follow up, she wasn't really controlling or leading her team. Even Carolyn Kepcher noted Audrey lacked control. Control comes, in large part, from knowing how to delegate.
In my corporate classes, I share the “Five-A Approach” to delegation:
1) Analyze Before discussing a request with someone, analyze what exactly needs to be done. Think about how the person might benefit from doing it and why you have decided to ask this person specifically for help.
2) Assign Provide the parameters of the assignment, including details such as timelines, the ultimate customer, restraints, etc.
3) Accustom Familiarize the person with your standards. You can show examples of how you want it done or provide similar products that had been done before. Don't end the meeting until you're sure the person fully understands what's expected of him.
4) Advise From time to time, check in with the person to see if he's having any difficulty in completing the job as requested.