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VIEWPOINT: All done by Friday

“If you critically analyse what you spend most of your time on every day, can you honestly say that it comprises the most optimal use of your unique talents and strengths?”


Empowering those around you will in turn empower you

“It is never too late to be wise.” – Daniel DefoeRobinson Crusoe

The only man to have all his work done by Friday was Robinson Crusoe. The secret to having all your work done lies in surrounding yourself with the very best people – carefully considering, planning and optimally using each person’s unique strengths.

If you critically analyse what you spend most of your time on every day, can you honestly say that it comprises the most optimal use of your unique talents and strengths? Most professionals spend at least 40% of their time on activities that could be handled easily by someone less qualified, earning a salary more in line with such a role. Not you? As an example consider how many e-mails of an administrative nature you tackled today. Is it not worth following cues from Mr Crusoe and getting your very own Friday/s to deal with this load? Here are three tips to acquiring and retaining individuals who will be self-sustaining, solid performers. You need to hire appropriately, wire for success and ensure continued desire.


Engaging the right talent is the first critical step. Aim to hire only people you believe to be better than you are. The right people tend to write their own job descriptions and success stories, not only for themselves, but also those around them. Your hiring process should assess true actual capabilities in the real environment – witnessing how a challenge is handled, or how an inbox loaded with key issues is managed, provides valuable insight into what actual performance would look like. This cannot be comprehensively gained from an interview only. It requires a small tweak to the investment in your recruitment process that will pay endless dividends, as it results in getting the right person on board.


Even the best require a proper introduction, and induction, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of ultimate goals and matters that impact, or might influence, the achievement thereof. It is critical to invest time in these individuals to bring them up to speed. A manner of investment is delegating responsibilities early, yet appropriately. It should ideally be approached with the preferences and nature of the person you are delegating to in mind. The art of communicating lies not in what you say but in what the other person hears, so it is extremely important to be sure that the right message has been heard and will be acted upon. Along with this empowerment, ensure that you dish up a large portion of support and encouragement, as this will soon lead to assured and autonomous action.


Having empowered the best talent available, it is important to keep your foot on the accelerator by perpetually investing in these stars, ensuring that they continue to thrive and enjoy their roles. It is critical to ensure that the flame of desire remains lit, shining a clear path into the future. Guide, nurture, encourage, appreciate and learn from the exceptional efforts made by the winners around you for sustained success and incremental achievements.

Empowering those around you will in turn empower you. This may be one of your wisest moves yet, as you find all your work done by Friday.

Anneke Andrews CA(SA)