Can You Escape This Crazy 8 Trap At Your Firm?
“80% of business leaders fall into a common trap called the “Crazy 8”. They try to delegate, but quickly get frustrated and take back responsibility. They become overwhelmed as they try to do too much themselves, get stuck in the day-to-day issues, and end up becoming the bottleneck in their company. Then they go round this Crazy 8 again and again.”Is your firm too endlessly running through this Crazy 8 trap?
Says Steve Tappin, the CEO of Xinfu, Host of BBC, CEO Guru & Founder, WorldOfCEOs.com. Tappin further says “resisting the temptation to micro-manage is one of the hardest leadership skills to learn”. Here’s how you and your Firm can escape this Crazy 8 trap…..
How Can You and Your Firm Escape This Crazy 8 Trap?
In physics, escape velocity is the speed at which the kinetic energy plus the gravitational potential energy of an object is zero. It is the speed needed to “break free” from the gravitational attraction of a massive body, without further propulsion. A rocket moving out of a gravity field does not actually need to attain escape velocity to do so, but could achieve the same result at any speed with a suitable mode of propulsion and sufficient fuel.
So, if you too are endlessly going round and round in this Crazy 8 Trap, you want that “escape velocity” or “a suitable mode of propulsion” and “sufficient fuel”.
What Could Be Your “Suitable Mode of Propulsion”?
Provided you really want to escape this Crazy 8 Trap at your firm, you first want to find that suitable mode of propulsion.
Narayana Murthy, Founder and Executive Chairman of Infosys, defines a “system” which could become your suitable mode of propulsion. He says:
” It’s very important to decentralize. Articulate your vision, lay out the norms for reporting and the delegating of authority, and formulate a clear escalation mechanism. You need a protocol understood and practiced by various cultures. “
In this short paragraph, he has laid out 11 requirements! See the emphasized words again. These 11 words can become your objectives for creating that “to do list” to fulfill each of these 11 requirements.
And What Could Be Your “Sufficient Fuel”?
You may be already trapped in this Crazy 8 Trap and on top of this comes the staffing shortage challenge. The AICPA PCPS 2013 survey results showed that for the first time after year 2007, the staffing shortage challenge i.e. finding and retaining qualified staff at all levels, resurfaced strongly in 2013 to haunt firms of all sizes. The problem is real. And you are not the only one facing it.
In other words, your suitable fuel has to be even more powerful than ever before. The essential message of the Crazy 8 Trap is that you “effectively transfer your knowledge and skills to the appropriate (lower cost) level”. If you cannot do it effectively, it all returns back onto your desk and then there is no escape.
Easier said than done. Habits can’t change easily, or can they? In his amazing book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business“, Charles Duhigg quotes several research findings to prove that habits can be consciously changed. He cites an incredible example of how a slight shift in advertising changed the so called “key-stone habits” of millions of people and make Febreze earn a billion dollars a year.
If it is NOT your habit of getting engrossed in work that can be done by appropriate (lower cost) level resources, in all probability, you will escape the Crazy 8 Trap with the “suitable fuel” of “moving lesser-skill jobs to appropriate (lower cost) level”.
Within Your Firm:
Don’t worry – your staff will rise to the occasion, if you give long enough time to him/her to learn from you and perform.
Rent The Talent:
When you are growing, cash flow is a huge problem if you hire new staff to service increasing volume. You can overcome this challenge by renting talent from shared services companies. (Full Disclosure: We provide shared services)
Optimize Returns on Your Best Competency:
Why do you do it at all? You know the service on which you make the best RoI. Why not just sell that service more aggressively and delegate or discontinue more labor-intensive, low-value, lower profit making or actually loss making activities?
Software is now increasingly doing what humans did in the past. And accounting is no exception. Reduce your cost by moving lesser-skill, repetitive tasks to technology.
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