Stop Trying to Do Everything Yourself Because You Can’t!

Stop Trying to Do Everything Yourself Because You Can’t!

Delegation: Determining what you should really be doing with your time is about sharing responsibility and authority and holding others accountable for their performance while getting a necessary task done right by someone else.

One of the toughest things for most people in positions of authority and responsibility to do is to delegate a meaningful task to another person.  The primary reason Delegation is hard is because:

Delegation involves trust issues: Sufficient trust has to exist between the person delegating the work and the person the work is being delegated to or the delegation is not going to work. To trust that a person can do a delegated task do the following:

    • Determine if the person has the ability to do the task. If they don’t have the ability to do the task, what’s the point of delegating the task to them?
    • Determine if the person has the desire to do the task. Someone who has to be forced to do a task they don’t believe they should be doing will seldom do a good job, which leaves the person who delegated the task with the additional job of cleaning up or correcting a poorly done job.
    • Analyze each task to decide if you can truly delegate it. (i.e. Any task that involves discipline should not be delegated).
    • Clarify what you want and when you want it. If the person being delegated to does not know and understand your expectations, the delegation will not go well.
    • Give them enough authority to do the work. This means no micromanaging!
    • Ensure they know where to get the resources they need to perform the task.
    • Decide on your follow-up with them while the task is being done. Establish periodic check-in times so you can determine the task is being performed properly. Do not wait until the day the task is to be completed to check on their progress.
    • Hold them accountable for the work they do. Insist on appropriate results, but not perfection.
    • Don’t allow Delegating to become Dumping. Delegation is about development.  It must allow others to use and develop their skill set and have enough complexity to stretch the delegate.

In addition to Trust Issues, here are the other most common Delegation Deniers:

  • Nobody can do the job as well as I can! Can your hat actually fit over your BIG head?
  • They won’t do it my way! Maybe it’s about time you considered doing the task a different and perhaps(shudder!) a more efficient or effective way
  • By the time I show them how to do it I can do it myself! But consider: once another person is trained to do the task you never have to spend your time doing it again.  What a great Return On Investment of Time! 
  • They will think I’m a slacker who can’t or won’t do my own work!  The concept of Delegation is to free up your time so you can do more important things. And if that is the basis for your delegation then why are you worrying about what they think?

The Bottom Line:

While Delegation is a difficult skill to develop it frees a Team Leader up to do other necessary stuff while empowering the person delegated to, so it’s that ever-elusive win-win.

And, in this era of doing more with less delegation is an essential/required skill set for the successful Team Leader to develop!

I know I could be wrong, but I’m not.

Thanks for reading.



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