Back in our Phoenix Sports Commission days, we had a great team. In four short years we went from financially insolvent to the 2012 National Sports Commission of the Year. It took a village to make that happen. While our staff was awesome all the way around, today we are going to use the Monday Huddle Up to talk about one of them individually. Ed Durkin.
Ed was our partnership and sponsorship “guy” but he also loved to work on events. Later in his career he would become a top sales and activation leader for NASCAR and later the Phoenix Suns. Today, Ed runs his own consulting firm and is doing quite well, to no surprise of anyone. Back to our Phoenix Sports Commission story…..
Ed loved to work on events and would volunteer to be out at the tournaments we hosted to “put on backpacks” (as we say) and help the event owners with everything outside the lines. Early on, Ed would call me about every little thing. Ran out of coffee, call Jon. Ran out of donuts in the referee hospitality tent, call Jon. The event owner needed someone to be picked up at the airport, call Jon. It became pretty apparent that in order to allow Ed to be as efficient as possible, and also keep my phone off of speed dial, we had to have a better plan than “call Jon.”
One day we had a chat and decided that anything under $300 Ed should just fix it and tell me about it later. Not sure why we landed on $300, but it worked. My phone stopped ringing. Come Monday morning Ed would fill me in on that weekend’s event and anything he had fixed. As I recall there was even one issue that was more than $300 that Ed decided to handle without my approval and he didn’t call. He just told me on Monday that he didn’t think the issue warranted a call and he went ahead and fixed it. That was a breakthrough moment. Ed took charge and made a solid decision, no Jon required.
The moral to this story is this……
Does your team know what decisions they are entitled to make on their own? Are they empowered to do their job without ongoing intervention? Fundamentally, are they able to be as efficient as possible in whatever area they are responsible for?
Going even further……
As the leader, do you know what decisions you can make with or without approvals from high up?
Whatever your role may be, we can all be more effective if we know the rules of engagement. Outline what each person in the organization can and cannot do independently and the process of executing against your mission will likely become a lot easier.
Find your Ed, define their decision making ability, then let them go do their thing. No Jon required.