Behind The Scenes: Weekly Blog by Tamara Simon
Business Lessons for RTOs from my favourite Movies, TV Shows and Books
Is Delegation Part Of Your Vocabulary?
It is clear Rod Macqueen’s success was the result of hard work, clarity and leadership.
A key component of that leadership success is because he built a team of coaches who would not only compliment his skill set (ie brought knowledge, skills and experience which he either didn’t have or didn’t do well), but also brought a willingness to challenge ideas and look for different solutions.
And I believe this is the dream which every leader of an RTO aspires to… but sometimes, it’s easier said than done, isn’t it. Especially if you don’t believe you have the time to recruit because you just need help, any help, NOW.
So is delegation part of your vocab, and if it is, is it an easy word or is it with some reluctance and reservation that you agree to ‘let go’?
How comfortable are you with delegating tasks and responsibilities to your team? And have you supported the verbal delegation (please go and do XYZ) with the documented procedures so staff are clear, and you are clear, on what and how things should be done at your RTO?
Because without the documented procedures, this is when delegation can come unstuck.
There are soo many lessons and insights in this book so here’s a few to end this month’s Blog.
Rod Macqueen (who was a rower)
I had not forgotten that almost mystical experience on the waters of Middle Harbour where calm, quiet concentration had engendered strength, skill and focus. While the team was having a joke at my expense, I had the advantage of a detached overview.
In most cases, a team doesn’t need to be told if they are playing badly. When time is at a premium and things are against you, it is better to calmly assess and outline the situation and bring in simple but positive steps to rectify the problem.
However, sometimes when players are pumped up during a match, and desperate to win at all costs, there can be confusion and a lack of direction.
Sometimes an emotional outburst is needed but I’d only use this when teams are oblivious to their lack of urgency and commitment.
We know that mistakes happen because people (we) are human and things happen. When it’s an honest mistake, what’s your reaction – frustration and rebuke or understanding and support, and then does it turn into problem solving to find out whether:
- it’s a once off and that’s just what happens
- the system didn’t work and why – what needs to be changed, documented to ensure it doesn’t happen again
- was the system not followed and why – need for more training or a choice (which is a performance management discussion).
Reversing SWOT to get on top
Rod discovered the SWOT analysis for each game was becoming boring and monotonous and was not always producing the appropriate results, so he reversed the process. Before each game, the Wallabies would also do a SWOT analysis on themselves from the opposition’s point of view.
Taking a business approach, we worked in group tasks. To avoid the ‘grey’ decisions, I always made sure I would pick small groups rather than the team as a whole.
This way I knew I would get the most adventurous and creative ideas. The various leaders would go away and look at the different aspects of the game and come back and make a presentation to the team.
We’d spend many hours studying the results both on the opposition and ourselves.
We didn’t make too much noise about it because we didn’t want the opposition to know how much we knew about them.
So when did you last do a SWOT analysis of your RTO, and have you ever reversed it, as the Wallabies did, which puts your staff in the shoes of both management and your students?
As I made it clear when appointed to the Brumbies and the Wallabies, rugby is not my whole life. My wife Liz and I set out on a journey and we have enjoyed every part of it. It is now time for a new coach to come in and guide the Wallabies to the next goal.
I was happy that there were now good people in place to take over, who could bring new enthusiasm and ideas.
We were proud to be part of the success and I guess the most important thing was that we managed to smell the roses along the way.
So what’s the succession plan for every position, including your own, in your RTO?
And here’s my final thought:
Are you and your team smelling the roses along the way as you build a simple, profitable RTO business; or are you caught up in compliance and the day-to-day stuff rather than the good things like graduating students?