“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
– John C. Maxwell
If delegating is so great…why aren’t more of us doing it? We know that a great manager is a great delegator. Yet, delegation disconnects are common. Here’s why…
3 Top Reasons Why We Avoid / Resist Delegating:
The explanations (excuses) why we dodge delegating are many. Maybe you can relate to all or some of these:
- Perfectionism: I need to do it myself. / Only I know how to do it exactly right.
- Thought errors: It’s quicker to just do it myself than to tell someone else how.
- Micromanaging: It’s challenging, quirky, difficult; there are many steps; I just know how.
Each of these can be particularly complex and often involve a fear of growth, whether of ourselves or of others (or both).
Don’t Want to Delegate? It’s a Setup for Failure
Too often, I see people set themselves up for failure when they do NEED to delegate. They don’t do it well because they’re resisting it at every turn, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Think of a time when you were really resisting something, and then were met with failure.
Maybe you said, “See, I knew I shouldn’t have done that. Never again!”
This is exactly when you need to dig deep. Let’s take a closer look…
All Those Excuses Come with a BIG Cost
You know all those excuses you’ve been telling yourself about why you can’t delegate?
You’ve been so worried about the negative consequences of delegating that you may have lost sight of the cost of not doing it.
The end result of not delegating is that you:
- Get to remain stagnant
- Continue to face overwhelm & stress
- Miss out on growth opportunities
- Cannot experience true freedom
Silence that negative self-chatter with all the reasons why you should be delegating:
- I’d love to grow my business.
- I want to take on more responsibility.
- I need to get to the next level.
- I’d love more freedom to do what I do best.
- I want to inspire, motivate and empower others.
Enter the Delegation Litmus Test
Start by forming clear answers to two simple questions:
- What do I love to do that nobody else can do and makes an impact?
- What things are keeping me from doing that?
Focus on the WHY Behind Delegation
The easiest way to get clear on why you need to delegate is to ask:
What do you want for yourself?
As we’ve already outlined, some of the major plusses to successful delegation are more:
What do you want for your team? What do they want? Benefits might include:
- Professional development
How about for the company overall? For example:
- Best value for the money
- Most efficient use of time
- Increased morale & productivity
- High quality teams
And now, the all-important question: What’s getting in the way?
- Time and/or money constraints?
- Training/teaching efforts?
- Delegating the teaching?
3 Simple Steps to Start Delegating Successfully
- Know when to delegate – identify when it makes sense and when it doesn’t. Figure out what needs to be done – and who has the skills and ability to learn it?
- Look at delegation as an apprenticeship – you can’t move up if you don’t replace yourself. What about all of the other positions in your organization?
- Commit to incorporating it as part of the overall culture of your organization – as part of your day/ week/month and year.
In reality, it doesn’t happen in a 15-minute meeting. Effective delegation takes time.
Answering these key questions can also help you (and your organization) gain more clarity:
- How does everyone look at the concept within your organization?
- Does every team member know who they can teach (and what they can and should be teaching on a regular basis)?
- What is your goal for yourself, for your team members and for your company?
- How can a culture that includes apprenticeship aka delegation be incorporated into yours – and what can you do to impact it immediately?
For more guidance and direction on implementing Delegation and other Leadership-focused mastery, join us at Strive Coaching Studio.
We’re taking all of these impactful opportunities to create great organizations every month, plus my 20+ years of leading and developing great people and organizations – & simplifying it into a strategic, pragmatic program where you can see immediate results. Learn more here: https://strivecoachingstudio.com/program/