Renew Subscription
Update Subscription


December 2007
Salvaging Millions

A key to great achievement: effective delegation

You’re only one person, and you are going to need more folks pulling on the oars. Delegate. As owners, we tend to be possessive of our idea. After all, it was our brainchild, right? The problem is that many owners make the mistake of trying to do everything themselves. If you are going to move on to greater heights, however, you’re going to have to master the subtle art of delegation. Rulers are called rulers because they rule. Managers are called managers because they manage.

Learning to delegate effectively is one of the requirements of the very successful. Someone good at delegating is someone who has learned how to hand tasks over to others for accomplishment while still retaining control.

How do you get there? You have to recognize and hire people who can accept authority. You have to delegate to them, let them make mistakes, correct them, guide them. You have to lead people, work with them, motivate them and rehabilitate them when they have problems. They will have problems.

You are also, as an owner, going to have to accept mediocrity in performance because most people who work for you do not have the same motivation you have. They have a job. You have a dream. They have a need for pay. You have ambition. Most of them just want to get by and be happy. You want to attain greater things and that makes you happy.

So, because of these differences, most of those to whom you delegate various tasks will not perform them the same way you would if you did them yourself. You may have to tolerate varying degrees of mediocrity in performance. Otherwise, you’ll go stark, raving mad and no one will work for you!

This is a description of what you’ll find when you reach out beyond yourself on the path to greater attainment. It’s not a reflection on employees. Of course you will have employees who do not act or perform perfectly. Neither will they make decisions all the time the way you would make decisions. Their motivations are different.

You will find some people are much better at certain functions than you are. For example, buying requires discipline and diligence rather than creativity. Accounting requires attention to detail; marketing, a flair. You want to align the skills and talents of those you hire with functions they are inclined to do best.

Successful entrepreneurs learn to delegate and thereby learn how to motivate and lead people who have lesser goals, lesser standards and different motivations.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Ron's free monthly auto recycling e-newsletter, with news and tips, register at

Remember, only you can make BUSINESS GREAT!

Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with 140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002, his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and investments. You can learn more about him at He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, or 817-834-3625 ext 6#.