Most people who rise to a management or leadership position do so because they have a natural disposition for getting stuff done. They see the task and instantly know what to do. As a result, they are recognized for their skillsets and put into positions of responsibility and authority. The problem is these same people can end up being trapped at mid-management job or worse, they become bottlenecks in their restaurants, destined to working longer hours in order to get more done.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The answer to this problem is to document your knowledge and create processes. These processes become the operating system for your business.

Let’s talk about four ways processes free leaders.

Free the Information Trapped in Your Head

There is a concept called unconscious competence. It refers to tasks in which someone is naturally skilled in performing. They take their skillset for granted and falsely assume that what comes naturally to them must also come naturally to others. 

While it’s important to put your skills to use, you are creating a trap for yourself if you are the only one who can perform a certain task.

Building a process for others to follow is an effective way to teach others because it gives them the blueprint to follow.

Maybe you are really good at helping an angry customer and resolving conflict. If I watched you resolve your next five customer complaints, I would most likely notice you take the same steps in each situation. This is a process you have naturally built.

But if you don’t take time to understand how you do something, you will never be able to train someone else to do it. You will become a bottleneck and feel trapped in your work.

Build a Team of Talented People

I have a leadership adage I follow: If you know how to do something well, you have a moral obligation to teach it to others. I believe this because one of the signs of a great leader is their ability to help others grow.

Building a process for others to follow is an effective way to teach others because it gives them the blueprint to follow. They are able to focus on what needs to be done while you work with them to understand why each step is necessary.

Each process you create becomes a training tool for the future. This in turn allows you to train new team members faster.

The more people you have on your team who can do what you can do, the more time you have to work on bigger goals.

Delegate

Delegation is the skillset that separates a leader from a worker. The more successful your business gets, the bigger the problems are, and the more work you have to do. That is, unless you learn to delegate.

While it’s scary to hand off responsibility to someone else, providing a process for your team to follow will give you peace of mind. You can rest assured your team knows what steps they need to take to do their job at a high level.

And once you experience the freedom that comes from delegation, you will have more time and mental bandwidth to work on new challenges and opportunities.

Free to Build Relationships

This last area is so important. Business is made up of people. If you neglect your people, you neglect your business.

The more people you have on your team who can do what you can do, the more time you have to work on bigger goals.

Too many leaders are trapped in their tasks. They are too reactive. They take on too many problems. They grow resentful of others. They ask themselves why their team doesn’t care as much as they do. They grow tired and demanding. They become irritable, and without realizing it, they drive people away.

By understanding what they know, teaching others, and delegating responsibility to others, leaders will create the margin to build relationships with their employees. I’m not necessarily talking about personal relationships. I am talking about creating a solid foundation of trust that only comes from listening and communicating with your team.

Leaders who demonstrate that they care and who build trust will create teams of people who work just as hard when they are out of the building as they do when they are in it.

Leaders who feel overwhelmed, overworked, and trapped are ineffective. The best way to create freedom and the margin to grow is to create processes.

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