Are You Reluctant to Delegate?

by | Oct 19, 2020

Does This Sound Familiar? 

You have more work than you can physically manage to do. You hear your family complaining that they never see you. You’ve lost sight of any work-life balance. If the answer is yes – it may be time to bring someone on board to support you. You’ll need to be able to delegate – give someone else a task or project to do for you.

Delegation is an essential leadership skill. As a business owner, you probably know this in theory – but how good are you at putting it into practice?

Let’s say, as a business owner, you need some marketing content written to raise your business profile or launch a new service or product. You know all its features and benefits, better than most. You could easily write it – and you’d enjoy doing it. Far easier than explaining to someone else exactly what you want! But stop and think – your time would be far better used on higher-level strategic development that will really push your business forward and generate more income.

Business means busy-ness. As a business owner or leader, you probably have multiple priorities, and limited time and energy. You could do with some help. So, why not delegate aspects of your work to others?

No matter how many hours you put in and how hard you work, you can only achieve a limited number of things per day. This, in turn, limits your own success, and that of your business. Limiting your capacity limits your profitability. And why should anyone live with limitation?

A great way to overcome such limitations in time and energy is to learn how to delegate work to other people. But sometimes, business leaders have problems letting go – and it’s an emotional issue.

Barriers To Letting Go

Logically, you know you can achieve more by delegating tasks, which allows you to fulfil your role of leading and really developing your business. But logic sometimes escapes us.

Acknowledging how we feel about delegating tasks gives us an important insight into what is really going on. How do you really feel about giving work to someone else – or ‘letting go’? What emotions and words spring to mind?

Worried? Fearful? Concerned? ‘Will they do it properly?’

There might even be a sense of loss and bereavement attached to giving a pet project to someone else to look after. Or you might miss doing certain tasks you love!

What’s Stopping You?

Let’s look at what might really be preventing you from ‘letting go’ of work and delegating it. Do you recognise any of the following?

  • I’m a perfectionist. No-one can do this work as well as I can.
  • I need to be in control.
  • I don’t trust anyone else.
  • It’s easier to do it myself.
  • I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it.
  • I don’t know anyone who can do it.

Whatever the issue, it’s a problem – a limiting belief that’s holding you and your business back!

How To Address The Issues And Delegate Those Tasks!

  • If perfectionism is your issue – imagine if it didn’t have to be absolutely perfect! What if ‘good enough’ was enough? Developing this attitude is liberating – not only in enabling you to delegate tasks, but it helps you to go easier on yourself, too.
  • What if your way isn’t the only way? What if there are different ways to get the same or better results? A fresh pair of eyes could bring real benefit to your business, too.
  • Focus your time on the whole business and the big picture. Prioritise your vision, mission, strategy and leadership tasks. Don’t micromanage or get pulled into operational details. Delegate those.
  • Do a quick cost-benefit analysis. What is your professional hourly rate (as a director)? Which tasks are you doing (that others could do cheaper)? How many hours do they take? What is the cost to your company at your hourly rate? How much will you save by getting someone else to do them? Meanwhile, how much prospective income are you losing by deprioritising strategic development?
  • Consider recruitment to increase capacity within your company. Or outsource certain tasks or projects to specialists, subcontractors or freelancers.
  • Leverage your networks and use your connections. If you are a member of a networking or leadership group, site, or course, ask around. What skills are available? Who do they know? What do they do? How do other people delegate effectively?

When done well, delegation saves you time and stress, helps to develop and motivate your team or associates, aids you in succession planning – and gets work done faster, more efficiently and effectively.

Delegate well, and you can quickly develop a strong, successful team who are fully capable of meeting anyone’s demands. Moreover, it allows you to lead – and accelerate your business success.