What’s the difference between delegation and abdication?

Hi, it`s Nishi Patel at N-Accounting, and in today’s video, I want to talk about what the difference between delegation and abdication is when you are getting your team to do work for you. So what I wanted to do is just talk about why it’s really important first, and then I’ll explain what each concept means and what the main difference is. So the reason why understanding of this is really, really important is because if you want to build your business, you really do need to build your team, and especially if you want to get your business to a point where you can sell it.

Obviously there’s businesses out there that are sold where they didn’t have a team, and that’s usually because they had some sort of intellectual property or patents or something along those lines. But the vast majority of businesses that do sell, sell because they’ve got a really good team and really good processes around getting the team to work effectively.

The reason we need to talk about the difference between delegation and abdication is because the system by which you get your team to actually do work for you is called delegation. That is, when you first started the job, there was probably… the business, there was probably a job you were doing yourself and then as you built your team up, you passed that job over to a member of your team to free up your time so you can actually focus on growing your business in other ways.

So one of the key things though is when you pass your work over to a member of your team, there’s two ways you can do it. You can delegate it to them, which is the good way, or you can abdicate it to them, which is the bad way. And now I want to talk about what the differences are. So when you delegate work to an employee, delegation is essentially where you’re giving them a task to do with the appropriate level of oversight, and you’re passing the job over to them, not the responsibility over to them.

Whereas in contrast what abdication is, when you abdicate a job to a team member, what you’re doing is you’re passing the responsibility and the oversight over to them as well. So that’s a really, really important difference. So one of them you’re passing work over with the responsibility and the other one you’re passing work over without the responsibility. So delegation, if you think about it, you’re the owner of a business so the buck stops with you. Everything comes back to you. So while you can make a team member accountable to you, ultimately you can’t make them accountable to the customer; only you can be accountable to your customer.

So that’s what’s essentially happening. So your responsibility is your accountability. And when you delegate, you remain responsible and accountable to that customer. When you abdicate, what you’re saying to that team member is, “Now you’re responsible and accountable to that customer.” But the challenge with abdication in general is, it’s you washing your hands and saying, “Okay, well, this team member’s responsible for doing it and just let them get on with it. I didn’t care what happens. I’ve told them to get on with it, so it’s their job to do it now.”

But what the problem with that is ultimately, if they don’t do it in the way you want, or the way you agreed with the customer, then the customer isn’t going to appreciate that you passed it over to them. They’re just going to say, “Well, you agreed to do something in a particular way, which is not getting done.” So that’s why abdication is so dangerous for a business; it creates a massive inconsistency, it creates resentment in a customer base, and it can actually create animosity between an employer and an employee as well because people essentially… ultimately, an employee, they’ll still expect you to be ultimate responsible, so if you are not on the same page about that, then that’s where you’re going to have this friction.

Delegation is such an important concept in business because ultimately, to get your business to a point where it’s sellable, you need to be getting your employees to do the work whereas you are focusing on developing the business. And that means you’ve got to be delegating to them, but you’ve got to have systems in place and people in place where you can actually make sure that it’s being done in the right way. So that’s why delegation’s important.

So what you may have heard of by now is our Apex Program. So it’s the program we created to have help small businesses scale and get to a valuation of at least a million pounds. The reason for that is most small business owners don’t have a pension, most business owners are really overworked, underpaid, and we wanted to do something and make a difference about that. So we created our Apex Program, which gives them all the tools and insights and support they need to be able to build a million pound business.

If you want to find out a bit more about it, then get in touch and book yourself in for a free strategy session. One of the things we’re doing as part of our free strategy session is that we’re actually valuing what your business is currently worth and then… so you’ve got a really good idea of what your starting point is, and then we can help you understand the things you need to do to actually get the value of that business up to a point where you can sell it for a healthy amount of money.

So if you like this video, just remember to take us up on that strategy session, but also remember to like, share, follow, subscribe, and I will see you at the next video.

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Free online training for small business owners

How to Create an Exit Strategy...

This session will cover:

  • The THREE things stopping you from scaling your business
  • The ONE thing you MUST do if you’re serious about exiting on a high
  • The tried and tested model you must implement NOW to lock down a high-value business sale later

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