Trust but Verify

You’ll hear more often about the bad experiences people have versus the good ones, and for good reason. Situations where you hear the words “I trusted” often followed by the story of how it all fell apart after that. Trusting is ok, however, it doesn’t stop there.


When it comes to business and even personal matters, there’s a fine line that you walk in making sure the right things happen. Many times it involves asking someone to perform a task. So, you give them the instructions and walk away. When someone gets back to you with bad news, it’s far too late. The mess is made.
Delegate, don’t Abdicate
Because one can’t know everything doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know enough to get you by. There are things outside of your knowledge and skill sets that you absolutely dislike or know nothing about. So you abdicate. You’ll say things like “just handle it” or “you deal with it” and remove yourself from the process and oversight.
Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, shares a good story on what happens when you find yourself in this situation and why you need to delegate instead. In my experience, as an example, I’m often approached to be a “Business Advisor” or a “Coach.” My response to those requests are this “how would you know if I’m telling you the right thing to do or not?” You see, if you don’t have a minimum working degree of knowledge as it relates to your needs, how do you know if you’re being led down the right path?
Delegating correctly involves setting out the task or request and receiving communication updates on a comfortable frequency. Not too much but not too little. The other end of the extreme is micromanagement. However, that’s a discussion for another time.
Trust but Verify
In essence, you have to learn to make the French fries before you get the keys to the McDonald’s right? So why would you do anything different as it relates to your business or personal matters. With the near infinite amount of resources in this day and age, there’s no good reason to blindly depend on others and completely disconnecting yourself from instrumental processes. Trust that the people you’ve tasked will do the job but verify along the way that they’ve received the instructions correctly and are updating you as they proceed.
Do this and watch how many issues go away.
Manuel Aguilar, MBA is the President of 3G and the Owner of 10thirty-six Partners with experience that spans from commercial lending, non-profit, and entrepreneurship.