The art of delegation: Are you having trouble letting go?

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

The art of delegation often escapes business owners and managers. This leads to stress and the unpleasant feeling of being overwhelmed, taking the fun out of business. The lack of effective delegation also inhibits the growth and development of team members and, therefore, the business itself.

A critical step in creating greater happiness and success in business and life is learning to delegate effectively so everyone involved is empowered to do more and be 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’s a distinct difference between these choices. In the first situation, you’re doing daily tasks that easily could be handled by your fellow management and team members, tasks that occupy 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 significantly higher than you realize. 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 doesn’t have a powerful example to follow, someone who will lead with clarity in the direction of greater happiness and success. Your clients or customers aren’t receiving the very best you and your team have to offer because your company isn’t running as efficiently and effectively as it could.

The bottom line: Your company won’t live up to its potential because you, as its the leader, haven’t yet empowered yourself and your team to do more and be more.

All of this can be overcome through the process of delegation. Delegation is the art of realizing you can’t do it all. You don’t have to do it all. And your way of doing something isn’t always the most effective path to take. Once you realize and accept the fact you can’t do it all, you don’t have to and there are members of your team who are willing and capable of effectively doing more, you can begin to let go of tasks and projects.

The biggest objection I hear from my business clients is, “They won’t do it the way I do.” This is correct given they aren’t you. But this need not be an obstacle. In fact, once I help clients get over this mental block, they see the tremendous power that comes with delegation.

Another concern of business owners and managers is that those they delegate to won’t complete the task or project correctly. This can be overcome through the development of effective communication and listening across your entire team. When the person delegating conveys clearly and specifically what they need done, the person receiving the task or project truly listens and when understanding is confirmed by both parties, errors are dramatically reduced.

As a business owner or a manager, start by stepping back from your daily tasks and looking at your situation openly and honestly. Next, spend some time writing out all the tasks you handle. As you accomplish this, you’ll gain perspective of your self-created reality. This greater awareness on your part will position you to begin taking action to create a better situation for yourself and your team members.

One powerful step would be to engage the assistance of a qualified coach or consultant. Doing so will shorten your learning curve and get you and your team on the path of effective high-level delegation, superior results and a greater return on investment sooner than trying to tackle this often challenging situation alone.

As you begin delegating, you’ll quickly see and feel the benefits. Less stress in you and your team members feels good and improves overall job satisfaction. Dramatically lower error rates improves ROI. Team members develop competencies and skills and become more valuable in the smooth and efficient operation of your business.

As you become an effective delegator over time, the positive results will become increasingly obvious. You’ll 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 operation will grow and thrive.