What should you not do?

Many years ago I was a director of a small engineering company developing an innovative public transport system.

The company and the product had been created by an inventor.

Unfortunately, although he was indeed a talented inventor and a competent engineer, he fancied himself as chief executive. This was not his strength and the company suffered for it.

One of my heroes is Alec Issigonis, the creator of the Mini car. He was in a similar position but had the wisdom to refuse to join the Austin Morris management hierarchy – and the world has benefited as a result.

I could also be in such a position, having successfully developed and delivered programmes for teaching coaching and corporate governance/director development.

There has been plenty of good feedback about the structure of the programmes. Structure is my strength.

The question I have asked is, “Could this be delivered without me?” The delegates definitely benefited from the depth of my understanding of the theory beneath it.

However, my next question was, “Should this be delivered by me?”

I love teaching but there are others who are naturally better at it than I am. I believe that I am particularly good at facilitation and that this is because of my ability to structure the process.

But, whereas structure in facilitation is dynamic and must be held in my head throughout an event, the structure of a workshop is held in the trainer’s notes and the delegates workbooks.

There is value in keeping hands-on experience but for many managers and entrepreneurs there is danger of holding on too tightly to that which we know best. This is not necessarily the best use of talent, and it can limit progress and frustrate the development of other staff.

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