#AskKirubi: Jack of all trades, master of ONE

March 19, 2015

, Ck-cellar

Ever heard of the phrase, ‘do what you are good at and get others to do the things you can’t? Well, you should. I may look like a jack of all trades but I am a master of one. What do I mean? I am associated with many businesses and a range of skill sets; however what I can tell you is that I am only great at managing my businesses. Let me make it clearer; there are many things that need to be done in all of my businesses some of which I do not know how to do, but I employ those who are skilled to handle those things. I mean, I could always learn but it’s important for me to know where my talents lie and where it doesn’t.

As a businessman/leader/employer, it is important to know where your strengths lie and to source and hire suitable talent where need be. You cannot do everything; neither can you excel at everything. Give opportunities to those who have specialized in a particular area and are well experienced. It’s an opportunity to mentor them and it’s also an opportunity for you to learn. Do what you are good at and get others to do what you cannot.

Now you may be wondering what it takes to get the right talent or how to go about it. Let me share some of the ways I source for this talent and encourage my managers to do so

1. Know what you want done and who you want to do it. Be clear about their role. This will help you sieve your options and save on time.

2. Care for them professionally; don’t just command them.

3. Mentor them. Keep them informed and motivate them. This will definitely inspire their loyalty to you and more so to the company.

4. Share with them your long term strategy (for them and for the business) and consider their input. Once they understand this, they will help you achieve the goals and vision of the company. You want them to participate in the success of the company/business.

5. Learn to correct and move on. A mentor teaches, listens and corrects. It may be hard to forgive but it’s necessary because your talent will make mistakes particularly at the start.

6. Praise them occasionally. If you praise them constantly, you increase their pride; if you praise them from time to time, you inspire them to achieve more. And isn’t that great for your business?

7. Set realistic targets. Dear employees, most if not all the time we set realistic targets. We believe in your capability to do more and go beyond that’s why sometimes it may seem very unrealistic. We know you can achieve the ‘impossible’.

8. Set a good example. I was humbled the other day when one of my former employees wrote an article about the lessons he has learnt from me over the years. Respect your employees and they will respect you. Set a high standard for them and live up to it.

9. Last but not least, you are their boss, not friend. Keep it and leave it professional. There is a time for everything even at my media house. It’s not always fun, fun, fun. There must be a balance. Maintain dignity, distance and authority.

At the end of the day, I oversee all my businesses, but I have managers to take care of the day to day activities of the business and employees who source for more business and money. I may fire, but I have people who hire. Mine is to mentor you and align you to the long term strategy of my businesses.

Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Master one and remain relevant in it. I wish you all the best as you get the right people in your business/company.  Once you get them, learn how to keep them.

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