The art of delegation often escapes business owners and managers. This, in turn, leads to the unpleasant feelings of “stress” and “overwhelm,” which takes most — if not all — of the fun out of business. The lack of effective delegation also inhibits the growth and development of team members and therefore, of the business itself. A critical step in the creation of greater happiness and success in business, and life, is learning to delegate effectively, so that everyone involved is empowered to be more, and do more.
As a business owner, you have a choice. Have you merely created a job for yourself or are you leading the company you own? There is a distinct difference between these two choices. In the first situation you are doing daily tasks that could easily be handled by your fellow management and team members, tasks that are occupying your precious time to be the innovator, visionary and leader of your business. If this is your reality, what is this costing you, your team, your clients or customers, and your company?
The cost is significant. You have less time to be the effective leader of your company, and less time for your life; after all, personal freedom is likely one of the reasons you started a business in the first place. Your team does not have a powerful example to follow, someone who will lead with clarity in the direction of greater happiness and success. Your clients or customers are not receiving the very best that you and your team have to offer, because your company is not running as efficiently and effectively as it can. The bottom line is that your company will not live up to its potential, due to the fact that you, the leader, have not yet empowered yourself and your team to be more, and do more.
All of this can be overcome through the process of delegation. Delegation is the art of realizing that you can’t do it all, that you don’t have to do it all, and that your way of doing something is not always the most effective path to take. Once you realize and accept the fact that you can’t do it all, that you don’t have to, and that there are members of your team who are willing and capable of effectively doing more, you can begin to let go of tasks. The biggest objection I hear from my business clients is, “They won’t do it the way I do.”This is correct, given that they are not you, but this need not be an obstacle. In fact, once I help clients get over this mental block, they come to see the tremendous power that comes with delegation.
As a business owner or a manager, start by stepping back from your daily tasks, and then looking at your situation openly and honestly. Next, spend some time writing out all the tasks you handle. As you accomplish this, you will gain perspective of your self-created reality. Then, go through the list and prioritize your tasks from most to least critical. Now, take time to consider your team members, their abilities, enthusiasm, and their commitment to personal growth and development. With all of this information clearly laid out in front of you, start with the least critical task currently on your list, and decide which team member to give it to.
As you begin delegating, start slowly; delegate those tasks that are easiest to let go of and give them to those you believe are the most capable and willing to handle them. Then, monitor their progress. As needed, coach those you have delegated to for the best results, but remember that their way may be superior to the way you were doing it. Allow for their brilliance to shine! If you find that the task you delegated is not a good fit for the person you chose, re-delegate the work to another team member.
Over time, as you become an effective delegator, the positive results will be obvious. You will free yourself to lead, your team will grow more confident and capable, your clients or customers will embrace the excellence of your company, and your company will grow and thrive.