Nau: It's OK to Let Go

Nau: It’s OK to Let Go

Chuck Nau

In these challenging economic times, no one can do it all themselves. It’s OK to let go.

“I don’t have time”, “I’m running from here to there”, “I need to do it myself inasmuch
as resources have become limited or there is no one else who is able to or can do it”.
“I’m not running my newspaper, our web site and its growing audience, my sales staff,
or my sales territory or account list. They are running me …”.

Does some of this sound familiar?

Let’s pause and take a breath for a minute!

As a publisher, sales manager, or salesperson, you strive to achieve certain goals
(publishing a newspaper, meeting revenue objectives, or selling a new account). These
goals may be set by you or others or both. Typically, you have outlined your goals
(generating additional revenue as compared to last year) and then define some
objectives, set action steps to meet these objectives, and plan to measure your results
soon (…introduce a new newspaper product, develop a circulation marketing plan,
establish a target list of advertisers, call on our target accounts, measure new

As you move through this process of identifying goals, you have undoubtedly clarified
what is necessary or important to your newspaper ( … and to you!) to assure success,
growth, and ultimately, survival in your changing community and its evolving
competitive media environment.

In reviewing your key goals and objectives, it’s become increasingly clear to you what
needs to be done and what doesn’t need to done. Once you have identified those
activities that will take you to your goals, the next question is, who will do them?

The first response might be ME!

It’s OK to Let Go.

It’s not only OK to let go, it is often necessary for both your professional and personal
well-being. No one can do it all themselves. A successful publisher, manager, or
salesperson should be willing to accept and ultimately initiate some action to encourage,
motivate and support accomplishing some things through the efforts of others.

It’s OK to Let Go …… to break down some of your identified key goals and objectives
into smaller tasks, duties, or responsibilities and delegate them to others. To trust and
encourage others to take on those activities, to be responsible for various tasks to be
completed within an agreed upon timeframe. In the process, you help others learn
( … by encouraging and coaching) to undertake a new adventure and further
develop their abilities.

Delegate … “A person sent with authority to represent or act for another or others.
To commit or entrust powers or authority”. That’s right. When you delegate, you are
empowering and motivating others to accomplish a specific activity, task or duty,
which in turn meets a desired result that you have identified as a key goal or objective.

Let’s explore some of the basic elements and considerations for ‘delegating’…..

  • Assess your cohort’s attitudes and skills for various jobs, tasks, or projects.
  • Identify those tasks, jobs, or projects that may be completely or partially delegated.
  • Assign those tasks to be delegated to an appropriate individual, based on that individual’s ability and potential, and direct it to one who would welcome the assignment, see it as a challenge, and whose personal development would benefit.
  • Let Go! Relinquish the responsibility for the task, job or project. Clarify that it has been explained fully, in terms of its importance to the individual’s development AND overall newspaper goal. Double check that the individual understands the assignment, intended results, deadline and is committed to its completion. Last but not least, express your confidence in the individual’s ability to accomplish the desire outcome.
  • Give support ….. as simple as words of encouragement.
  • Encourage independence. Let the individual develop her own method of handling the assignment, expecting her to identify and resolve any barriers to completion. Be available for support, encouragement, and advice. Establish a series of checkpoints or one on one meetings to monitor the status of the assignment.
  • Give timely and honest feedback.
  • Acknowledge, both privately and publicly, their contribution.

Don’t hesitate to delegate. Start slow, testing your methods, and each other’s
acceptance of the delegation plan. Anticipate some anxieties and problems, both
yours and theirs. Persevere. Keep fine tuning, and remember leading and delegating
helps both you, your cohort’s and your newspaper’s overall grow and to meet those
identified goals and objectives.

It’s OK to Let Go.

© Murray & Nau, Inc.
Chuck Nau of Murray & Nau, Inc. is a Seattle area based publishing
consultant and sales and management trainer. He has been a speaker for and conducted
advertising, marketing, management and sales training workshops with newspapers,
niche publishers, publishing groups and press associations, throughout North America.
Comments and questions are welcome and may be directed to Chuck via email: or at (425) 603 – 0984.