5 ways to empower employees to take on more responsibility

Editor’s observe: Every week Maynard Webb, former CEO of LiveOps and the previous COO of eBay, will provide candid, sensible, and typically stunning recommendation to entrepreneurs and founders. To submit a query, write to Webb at [email protected]

Q. Folks hold coming to me for assist, which is nice, however I typically find yourself doing the job as a substitute of educating them. How do I get out of this? 

—CEO of a well-funded firm that’s doing nice


Pricey CEO,

First, congrats that the corporate is doing properly. That’s wonderful. Now, let’s speak about how to get you to be more efficient in the way you lead and handle.

It feels like you’re going by way of one thing that occurs to many leaders in some unspecified time in the future or one other. You might be busy choosing up the entire bits and items when issues go incorrect, and you’re even serving as a crash dummy for no matter isn’t going properly.

And though this isn’t unusual, I need to stress: This isn’t your job. Worse, it’s holding you again from being nice at your job.

If the corporate is doing in addition to you say you’ve got the posh to rent folks. Which means which you could assign this work to them. With these additional duties off your plate, you get again to the work you need to be doing—and the work that can truly transfer the needle.

I get the sense that you just really feel the world is on your shoulders. That’s laborious. However you aren’t alone. Oftentimes employees go to their managers in search of assist, however as a substitute of getting that assist the supervisor does the work for them. Typically it looks like the more environment friendly means to get it achieved, as a result of you understand it is going to be achieved proper (or at the least the best way you need).

It’s counterintuitive, however taking more time upfront to information, train, coach—and even to right—will save time in the long term. It’s that “train an individual to fish” adage. Should you don’t present them how to be self-sufficient, you may be chargeable for feeding them and you’ll all the time be ravenous for time.


I like to use the next steps to assist workforce members change into more unbiased and empowered—and assist me get again to the work that I needs to be doing.

  1. Assess the aptitude.  Can they, and can they, do the job successfully? You need to all the time set them up for fulfillment, which suggests ensuring that they’ve the fitting teaching and entry to essential sources.
  2. Talk what success seems to be like. Be crystal clear on the entire expectations—make sure that they know what success seems to be like.
  3. Make certain they know there’s a studying curve, and be there to information them. Make sure that they’re comfy coming to you when points come up. You might be nonetheless accountable for the outcomes. It’s simpler to repair issues once you hear about them early.
  4. Set up checkpoints to monitor progress. Maintain folks accountable to expectations, and do that incessantly. This prevents you from receiving nasty surprises on the finish.
  5. Rejoice success. Applaud accomplishments. Let the workforce have the roles of the heroes.

Your organization is in place. It will likely be in an excellent higher place when you grasp this ability. There’ll all the time be work to be achieved which you could’t get achieved. Focus on what’s most vital. Hiring more folks and enabling them to do more work will free you to do what issues and allow you to scale.