Having failed as a rock star, I got a job as a ‘Trainee Work Study Engineer’ with a clothing manufacturer in Eastbourne. The famous ‘up market’ clothing brand Jaeger had a total of 17 factories in the UK (back then) and this was their smallest, employing 43 female machinists and finishers, an elderly manager, a caretaker/maintenance man and now me. I couldn’t believe my luck, a job actually watching people work – I was brilliant at it.
I was responsible for the productivity of the factory and was trained and then qualified in MTM2 (Methods Timed Measurement 2), which was developed in Swedish shipyards and was more sophisticated than using a stop watch (like traditional work study). One instead concentrated on the method of the task, the ergonomics of the work space, and the only timed aspects were the machine runs.
INSIGHT 1:- I’ve never found delegation to be a problem. I have always been happy to witness other people doing things (usually) better than me, something that might have been ingrained as a result of this job. Even though I wasn’t a qualified tailor or machinist, I was trained to organise and set out the method of a task (one I would never have been able to fulfil in several lifetimes, as the sewing machinists and finishers were magnificently more dexterous than me).
Therefore never be afraid to hire somebody who is better at a job than you, even the job that you consider yourself to be the most expert in; you can only build a successful business with the most talented, hardworking, persistent, and qualified people.