Alumni

January 20, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Sociology Alum Learns Power of Delegation as Entrepreneur

Aisha Tufail

Aisha Tufail

Aisha Tufail ’06, ’09M, taught Introduction to Sociology in Athens for a couple of years after graduating with her B.A. and M.A. in Sociology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University.

Then she jumped into entrepreneurship!

First as partner, then as full owner-operator of a D.P. Dough in Columbus, which she recently sold.

What Tufail enjoyed most about having her own business was that it pushed her to tap into strengths she did not realize she had and it provided an atmosphere for her to develop new ones.

Delegating

Apparently, delegating was not Tufail’s strength going into business ownership!

She learned the hard way that taking on other people’s responsibilities on top of her own could not work well, for anyone.

Time and situational pressure pushed her to delegate, then learn how to do it well.

She found great value in doing so, however, and “allowing my employees to learn from their mistakes by not swooping in immediately every time there was a problem or issue. They weren’t learning that way and I wasn’t prioritizing well.”

Tufail notes that everyone wants their contributions to matter. All want to make a difference in whatever system they are part of.

Grow in the Process

As she experienced it, an owner-operator in a business like hers must allow their team members to rise to challenges and grow in the process. She says everyone (and the entire system) suffers if this does not happen.

“By shifting my focus to creating space for leaders to excel, I was able to develop and teach employees skills that not only strengthened their role in their current situation, but provided experience for other endeavors in their lives.”

Sociology Is … Everywhere?

Given her solid grounding in sociology it is no surprise that she sees it… everywhere!

“Sociology is relevant to everything in our social world, including an individual’s sense of self. For me, sociology is everywhere, and the insights gained through a sociological background remain present through all aspects of life, especially in the role of a business owner. My sociological background helped me understand and interact with my employees and customers with greater insight. It was also beneficial to have a sociological background and be in the role of a business owner couched in a capitalist system wherein I had to negotiate the concerns of being a small business owner with a larger understanding of the system as a whole and the effects of it on myself and employees.

“My sociological background informs how I perform any role and it emerged even as a business owner.”

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