Top Workplaces - Page 19 - Winner - Large Business Leader: Scott Dorsey, Merritt Companies (2)

Top Workplaces
- Page 19
Winner - Large Business Leader: Scott Dorsey, Merritt Companies (2)

How do you decide when to be hands-on and when to delegate?


In just about everything I do, I try to include others. I want them to understand my perspective — the thought process through which we reach decisions — emphasizing what is important at the end of the day. Through this process — working collaboratively with various members of your team — you learn what people are capable of, and how they analyze situations and make decisions.


When you come to trust their judgment and understanding, you know exactly what they can do by themselves and when they may need more guidance. Often, when members of our team come to me for advice, I think they are just trying to make me feel useful.


What’s the hardest lesson about leadership you’ve learned?


I wouldn’t say that anything has been hard, but I know what has been critically important. It is to let people make mistakes. Empower them to analyze situations and make decisions.


Sometimes, a decision may not turn out to be the best, but that is how people learn. If a leader berates a member of a team who makes a mistake, that person becomes reluctant to make decisions, losing confidence in themselves. If this happens, in every situation, they will come to you to validate their own judgment. Then, they don’t learn anything, and you will spend a lot of time on things you don’t need to be involved in.


When someone makes a mistake — even a whopper — talk it through with them. They will know what they should’ve done differently, becoming more capable and confident. The organization becomes stronger.


What advice would you give to someone starting out in leadership?


For someone starting out in leadership, it is important to understand that your job is to help everyone in the organization do their job.


Let people know what the goals of the company are and how their efforts are important to the company succeeding in achieving those goals. Provide as much clarity as possible to define the results that need to be accomplished and explain how they support the overall goals of the organization. Don’t insist that these tasks be performed in a prescribed way. Explain what to do, not how to do it. Coach, but don’t dictate.


If you have brought the right people together, who embrace your culture, values and goals, they will figure out how to get it done — creatively, collaboratively — resulting in individual job satisfaction and a successful organization.