If only we had the ability to split ourselves into several pieces so we could get more done. Unfortunately, we’re quite limited in what we can accomplish on our own. That’s where delegation comes in.
Not only is delegation very important for lightening your own workload, it’s actually more beneficial for your company if you focus on your strengths and delegate the rest to your team members. It can create an environment of learning and ensures you’re providing the best service and products to your clients by choosing the best person for the job.
Why It’s Hard to Delegate
As a business owner, it’s often easier to do things yourself since you know how to do them, and you are used to doing them. You’re the one with the vision in your head, and it can be faster to do something yourself rather than take the time to explain it – is what people think. Not only that, it’s hard to let go, especially with something as personal as your own business. You want it done right, and what better person to do it right than you, right?
Remember that you’ve hired your team for a reason. They’re there to support you and your firm, and to not make your job harder.
Letting go of control can be one of the hardest things a business owner has to do. There’s a fear of losing a certain level of quality, and others may complete a task slower than you can complete it. Sure, time is money, but if you invest time in explaining something to a team member, you are empowering them to do it themselves the next time around. They may even know how to do something better and quicker, when you give them an opportunity.
It can also be difficult to ascertain which tasks can be delegated versus which ones you should handle. Maybe you have a meeting with a high-profile client. That might make more sense to take on yourself, whereas a meeting with a new client to onboard them might not necessarily need your involvement.
Once you start to grow your team, part of your job is figuring out which tasks you can delegate in order to effect impactful growth.
Delegation Allows You to Be Proactive, Not Reactive
You have a limited bandwidth. That’s just the reality. Whether that’s a physical or mental limitation, it’s not feasible to take on everything yourself. When you spread yourself too thin, you will likely find that you’re reacting to situations, rather than getting ahead of them. There will constantly be fires to put out, questions to answer, clients to answer to. Your business won’t grow if you continue to try and do it all yourself. You aren’t allowing it to grow when you don’t have support staff.
Think about what business matters actually need your attention. For example, can you outsource the first part of hiring your team and come in later once a candidate has been vetted by trusted members of your team? Do you really need to be on the initial phone interview? No, you don’t.
With your time freed up, you can focus on the future and how to build a strategy of growth, not just spend time dealing with minor issues that can be handled by another team member.
Delegation Empowers Team Members
You didn’t hire a talented team so they could watch you work and take on everything yourself. When you first start your business, it makes sense to wear many different hats. However, as you grow, part of that growth is acknowledging that your business is better off when you empower team members to help you.
Let your team show you what they’ve got! When you give them space to demonstrate their abilities, you’ll gain confidence in them and be able to trust them with even more work in the future. When your team members feel the confidence you have in them, they become empowered, as well as more invested in your company’s success as their own.
Delegation to team members fosters trust and engagement. People who feel trusted by their leaders are happier at work and as a result, perform more effectively.
Types of Tasks to Delegate
Learning how to delegate as a leader includes learning which tasks to delegate. Here are some examples of tasks that you can delegate to members of your team.
Small tasks – Certain tasks, like some phone calls or emails, can be delegated to a team member if you don’t need to answer them personally. Other tasks, such as coordinating a team lunch or office admin tasks, can also be trusted to others.
Repetitive tasks – Mindless tasks like copying and pasting is not something you need to be doing with your time. Look at the skill level of a task and ask yourself if someone else can handle it so you can focus on your strengths and being the visionary of your company.
Your weaknesses – You don’t need to be great at everything, and nobody should expect you to be. You have strengths and weaknesses, just like everyone else. Maybe your strength is creativity, but not organizational administration tasks. Hire an admin assistant to help you keep track of your meetings or organize your files, so you don’t need to spend extra time doing something that you don’t enjoy, and also aren’t very good at.
Teachable moments – Take the time to train your team, so they can handle some of your workload. Not only will it be empowering for them, they’ll be able to handle more and more if you allow them to learn. Taking several weeks to invest in developing your employees’ skills will save you much more time in the long run than continuing to do it yourself over years.
How to Delegate Effectively
Part of being a successful leader is understanding your team, their strengths, and what motivates them. Delegation doesn’t mean pushing what you don’t want to do off to the nearest person. It means identifying who is the best person for the job at hand.
As much as you can, look for their input. Maybe there are activities your team members want to be doing that they aren’t currently empowered to do. Take stock of what is on your to-do list and sit down with your employees to see who would be the best fit to take some of your tasks off your hand. Are there more technical tasks that would be better for your Director of Technology to handle (in-house or virtual person)? Would your creative designer be better at creating that marketing collateral than you would be?
Make sure that when you’re delegating tasks to your team, you provide context and set expectations, along with specific deadlines. Your team doesn’t want to feel like they’re getting leftover, unimportant tasks that you just don’t feel like doing. Tell them how much you believe in their strengths and abilities to take on certain jobs. Explain the why behind how they will be helping you. Provide adequate support and training, if necessary.
Remember that being a successful leader doesn’t mean being the best at everything. Being a great leader means having the humility to admit you can’t take on everything on your own. Take a look at what tasks are on your plate and make a list of which things you can delegate to which people. Keep in mind that you’re helping your employees grow in their careers as well, and having a stronger team can only be beneficial to your own company’s success!
To help you be even more effective and efficient, so you can achieve your goals at an accelerated rate, you can delegate more to your team members than you have or might think possible. Stop holding on to things that can be done by someone else and do only those activities that you can do and can’t be done by anyone else. Stop doing revenue generation / business development avoidance activities and delegate more! You should be doing only those activities that only you can do and nobody else can. Successful people are excellent delegators, so work at being an even better delegator and be even more successful. Download my Free Delegation Exercise to help you identify more even activities to delegate, by going to https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/delegation-list-sample/.
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