For over a dozen years I was either the only one, or one of a small few employees running a pharmacy. I never had to worry about delegation or training, because the mindset was “do it all”. With the unfortunate shrinking of mom and pop establishments, I found myself working for larger and larger corporations, where I quickly found out that, not only does the phrase “If you want something done right, you don’t have to do it yourself” apply, but also “if you want everything done, you have to let others help”. This was a difficult mindset to change, and frustrating at the start because it seemed like no one could do it like I could.
Then I learned a new adage…what I call the teacher dilemma. If a teacher has 30 students in her class, and 29 pass a test…that one kid probably failed for a reason (didn’t study, etc.). However, if the same test was given, and 29 kids failed the test…something else is going on. This realization changed my whole attitude towards my coworkers. If I wanted something done right, I needed to properly educate, train, and be available for follow up. No one can read my mind, or guess my intentions. I began to develop incredible working relations with my staff, and got the work I needed done.
This carried over into my personal life as well. You cannot expect your children to know what’s right and wrong unless you impart that knowledge on them, and you certainly cannot assume your spouse knows what you’re thinking unless you communicate your thoughts.