Insights & Joy
- Richard P. Morgan CMC, FIMC
Helping leaders accelerate profitable growth by enhancing a team’s ability to create and deploy right actions, right now!
Coach by Delegating
Many years ago, I worked out of Mobil Oil’s headquarters in Manhattan. Hank, Mobil’s Aviation Manager, had come up through Mobil Chemical and was not a recognized expert in aviation marketing. Nevertheless, I realized after a short period of great frustration that he was a very accomplished coach.
I was in my late twenties and rather impatient at the time…perhaps, I still am. When faced with a thorny situation, I would pick up my notes and rush to Hank’s office to explain my quandary and wait for him to solve my problem.
Hank would listen intently to my explanation. Then, he would ask me what I thought should be done about the situation. My first impression was that Hank was not too smart, perhaps incompetent, because he would not give me a straight answer. Hank simply would tell me to go back to my office and give the issue some more serious thought, then let him know how I had handled it.
After several similar frustrating interactions with Hank, it finally dawned on me that Hank was dumb like a fox! He would not allow me to delegate issues up for him to solve for me. I had, after all, quite a bit more practical experience with my specialty than did he. It was my job, not his, to analyze proposals from the various divisions and develop recommendations or solutions for the company’s general aviation business. Hank always had time to listen to my issues and ideas, but he refused to do my job for me. Hank was one of several excellent managers who took the time to be my coach.
Hank recommended me for promotion and I became the commercial division area manager for the six New England states, based near Boston. Hank also moved up Mobil Chemical’s ladder soon thereafter. Today, I consider him one of the managers from whom I learned the most. His coaching style and his refusal to do someone’s job for them stuck with me.
During consulting engagements with business owners, I often encounter interpersonal and delegation issues. Owners complain to me that they work so much harder than the managers they hire. Often the problem is self-imposed by allowing managers to delegate decision making up, rather than accept the responsibility for making decisions, even recommendations, on their own. Failure to delegate, along with failure by some subordinates to accept responsibility, can severely limit a firm’s growth and success. Leaders of firms who cannot delegate lose the multiplier effect of a team’s efforts. Such firms tend to hit a plateau based on one person’s ability to manage all activities.
Good delegation techniques and teamwork help people accomplish singular feats for which they take pride. Good delegation helps subordinates grow and become more valuable. A good coach delegates, but does not just pass the buck. Delegation contains both the authority to act and the immediate responsibility for the results of those actions. The coach, however, cannot avoid ultimate responsibility for properly delegating tasks to subordinates. It is not easy to be a good coach, but good coaches seem to accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
Open communication back and forth is an essential ingredient. The boss must provide instruction and expectations. The subordinate must feel safe in returning to get clarification or ask questions. So many of the daily problems within a management team stem from the lack of essential communication. High priority jobs often get shoved upon the shoulders of the most productive people. Those same people may already have a very full plate, so they need to feel comfortable going to the boss for reordering of priorities, or for additional help to handle the several priority tasks. An owner or leader should act as an empathetic coach rather than an ogre, a listener rather than a deaf taskmaster.
“Effective marketing doesn’t take millions. It takes imagination, enthusiasm, and the willingness to experiment and change.”
Richard P. Morgan CMC, FIMC
$ Million Marketing Tips
Tip: In many cases, you must create the market, overcome apathy or inertia, and get prospects to act. If you are the first to spur action, you often get the business.
Tip: Deliver both value and joy! Customers will love you for it. Be remembered…be a professional with a sense of humor.
The Market-focused Guide to Company Analysis by Richard P. Morgan CMC, FIMC
Marketing Facets is a practical resource for those involved in determining the current health of a company and gauging its future prospects. Designed to be a supplement to other due diligence or business evaluation work, the 103-page guidebook takes a holistic approach. The guidebook assembles facts about twenty-five marketing functions along with management assumptions in key areas to help analysts form and support conclusions about the enterprise.
Marketing Facets is a valuable resource for private equity fund managers, individual investors, investment banks, and valuation specialists. C-level executives will find Marketing Facets a helpful guide for internal analysis, as part of normal business planning, or in advance of efforts to refinance or divest.
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Smiles make the day!
More bumper stickers
I brake for no apparent reason.
Rehab is for quitters!
Sometimes I wake up grumpy. Other times, I let him sleep.
He who laughs last thinks slowest.
Change is inevitable…except in vending machines.
Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.
Lottery. A tax on people who are bad at math.
A client speaks:
“Dick helped to increase the revenue of my previous business from $10 million to $18 million during the three years we collaborated. Even better, he enhanced the final sales price of my business by 100 percent. Dick’s introduction of strategic planning, action plans, and implementation support was the point where our planning took on a professional approach. Operations, marketing, finance, and personnel all were beneficiaries of the counsel and processes he provided. Ben Johnson, Johnson Diversified Enterprises, Inc. Colleyville, TX
Our ideal client: is a business owner or CEO, 30 to 60+ years of age. Usually with a financial, engineering, or production background. Our client is often impatient, and interested in improving company performance. Comes alive when you ask, “How’s business?” He, or she is practical but also enjoys the finer things in life. So, you may see my client driving a Lexus or SUV to Neiman Marcus…and to Sam’s Club. Who do you know that fits this description?
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Copyright 2014, Morgan Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Richard P. Morgan CMC, FIMC
Morgan Marketing Solutions, Inc.
Two Galleria Tower, Suite 1000
13455 Noel Rd, Dallas, TX 75240-6620
Author, Marketing Facets – The Market-focused Guide to Company Analysis
CMC (Certified Management Consultant) is a mark awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, and represents evidence of the highest standards of consulting and adherence to the ethical canons of the profession. Less than 1% of all consultants have achieved this level of performance and dedication. The CMC process is now recognized as an ISO17024 process. For more information go to www.imcusa.org.