Managing Time Through Delegation

By Generational Equity


One of the most important concepts anyone can learn in life is how to manage the limited amount of time we have available to us each day. This is especially true of business owners who, if they don’t effectively manage their time, can literally end up spending 10-12-hour days at the office 7 days a week!

Not only is that hard on you physically, but it also takes a huge toll on key parts of your life like your family, friends and just general enjoyment of the rewards of your hard work.

To help out with this important topic, our friends with Vistage recently released a very compelling piece on effective time management for CEOs. Entitled “Time management guide for executives who don’t have enough time”, it was full of really great ideas on how you can make better use of this finite resource.

(Vistage is the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize business leaders in the world. Generational has a strategic alliance with them).

One point they made in the piece was absolutely critical for anyone considering an exit from their company in the next few years:

  • Delegate to grow your team. An effective executive is able to delegate tasks and projects. A good team, one able to handle more complex projects, is often the difference between success and failure. There are few better ways to create a successful team than to trust employees with important tasks. Executives with too much on their plate can delegate tasks to their team and instantly gain more time.

Not only is this a great time management tip – but it is also vital if you are considering eventually exiting your business. You see one of the most important areas buyers will delve into during due diligence on your company is the question of who makes the key decisions?

Is there a middle management team in place? What happens to the continuity of your company when you are gone?

Sadly, as we have seen over the years, the process of “letting go” is a real challenge for many entrepreneurs. But the  successful ones realize eventually that by delegating more and more decisions to key members of the team, you will actually enhance your company’s buyer readiness.

We can’t emphasize this enough. You are most likely extremely proud of your hard work and accomplishments over the years. And you should be! Getting to where you are today as a business owner was not due to luck; it was due to sweat equity, perseverance, and never giving up no matter the hurdles.

But as you begin to consider a full or even a partial exit, you have to begin grooming your middle management team. Unless you are willing to stay on up to 5 years after your deal closes under an earn-out scenario and put your exit dreams on hold, developing a cadre of excellent leaders below you is vital.

The easiest way to do this is to take 2-3 of your mid-level folks and start giving them chances to make small, then larger, decisions. And don’t get upset if they make mistakes or worse yet, just don’t do it the way you would! In doing this exercise you may actually learn a thing or two from your team – and you will gain valuable time that you can use on other pursuits.

If you would like to learn more about other Vistage recommended time management techniques, you can do so here:

And if would like to learn more about how delegation can actually improve the value of your business to buyers, you should attend a Generational Equity Growth and Exit Planning Conference.

As we have said before, deciding to intentionally (not accidentally) build a buyer ready business takes knowledge. You can start your education at our conferences. To learn more, use the following links:

Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.

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