“To delegate doesn’t mean to abdicate. You are still on the hook for the results. Make sure that you can contain risks if need be and be wise about when and whom you empower.”

Establish authorities for key decisions and key people.

Knowing who should decide what, and when is a key task of a leader. Be thoughtful about your delegations because they can be disruptive, empowering, risky, or energizing. A lot of it has to do with the framework you establish and the understanding of the person being delegated to. A responsible step would be to make sure the person is not only capable to decide but also understands clearly what you are asking them to decide. Always ask them to repeat back to you the problem, solution and expected outcome to avoid surprises.

Review reports on all facets of your company so that the surprises are as few and far in between as possible.

An ex-President once said ‘trust but verify”. That’s a key component of the delegation formula. Make sure you are getting the results you want, from the risk you are taking by checking to see if the decisions are showing up in the numbers. If so, reward. If not, reassess. Waiting doesn’t make things better.

Perform audits on a routine basis to double-check whatever you are reading or being told.

It’s great to kick the tires but it’s better to do it systematically and independently. Audits are great for that. They can go where you can’t and help you see things more clearly. They are invasive to be sure, but politeness goes a long way in making people comfortable. Be thoughtful about when you use them because they can convey a lack of trust. But hey, don’t you want to know what is really going on? Audits can also help with accountability and ownership of issues. But never forget that you are dealing with people and therefore you must listen and talk.

Make sure to reinforce ownership by having feedback sessions with individuals and teams on a routine basis.

They all need to hear from you. If you can get this right, you can raise your company’s IQ points by the hundreds, have more satisfied employees and a better run company.

Don’t try to do everything by yourself because there is plenty of help out there like this (link).



1.) Use Scorecards to keep track of the key variables that drive your company.

A scorecard is a management tool that synthesizes key data like growth, operations, talent and financials in one easy to read page and gives you a snapshot of your company’s performance. It can provide you a quick and easy to understand the 360-degree view of your company. It is entirely data-driven and can help you get into the habit of making key decisions with data as opposed to your gut feel, aka, opinions. You don’t need to know everything to navigate a start-up, but you do need to master the important things that are essential to your company’s performance. The best way to use it is to review it daily, share with your team in staff meetings and realign priorities as you develop your business.

2.) Perform external research to keep you current with competitors, customers, and trends.

Don’t become so internally focused that you forget there is a big world out there with creatures that want to eat your lunch, want more from you or are just plain changing. Try to learn something every day about the environment you operate in and you stand a much better chance of adapting and flourishing. Looking at other’s websites, getting exit interviews of customers, and attending conferences are all practical ways to assess trends in your segment. Reposition your activities if necessary but using external data to inform your decision making will help you keep your value proposition sharp.

3.) Review financial statements on a regular basis to make sure you have a handle on your profits.