I was having a conversation with a CEO the other day, and she was lamenting that some of her leaders turned into magnets when they get overwhelmed and stressed and begin to do all the work themselves. Bad approach, right? Right!
Many managers and leaders struggle with delegation. There are a number of reasons why we struggle with it. First, we are reluctant to cede control. Second, delegating often requires work to do it well. Third, we sometimes fear that the delegation will fail and reflect poorly on us. Then, some of us are perfectionists who cannot imagine anyone doing the job as well as we can do it.
Here’s the problem, when we turn on the magnets and attract all of the work to ourselves when we’re stressed we’re limiting our success, aren’t we? Of course! And when we pile all the work on ourselves and stress out, we limit the amount of trust felt by our teammates don’t we? Of course! Finally, when we’re chugging through all of that work, and getting crabbier by the moment, we’re repelling all attempts by our associates to help us and share the workload, aren’t we? Of course! I haven’t even mentioned that we’re simultaneously limiting the learning experiences that could be taking place within our team by delegating “stretch opportunity” tasks and projects, even though it’s very true.
Delegation makes sense. Common sense. And like most things that make common sense, it is not commonplace. As a business coach, I talk about delegation all the time with my CEO and Small Business Owner Clients, as well as the many Emerging Leaders I coach. A common thread that runs through many of those coaching conversations is that my client is busy, VERY busy. PAINFULLY busy! And yet, when I ask them how they’re coping with the insane workload, they often tell me they’re not focused on the delegation. Newsflash to the world: “DELEGATION WORKS! YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON THAT, AND MAKE IT YOUR RELIGION!”
I’m not kidding, if all of us worked a lot harder at delegating and delegating with some style and an elegant strategy, things might go dramatically better in the companies we’re running. Doesn’t that sound like an idea whose time has come? Sure sounds like an improvement to me.
Here is a truth: If we don’t delegate more in the future, we won’t “catch up” and we won’t affect positive change. If we don’t delegate more, we’ll be STUCK where we are now, for a long time, perhaps forever. So here’s the remedy: Make some time TODAY to prepare someone on your team to handle some of your workload. Whether you delegate something simple and easy to do, or whether you delegate something challenging, it will balance out your workload, which is a VERY good thing. And the bonus is that you will also communicate in a loud and clear manner that you have faith in and trust your associates to handle this work for you. When you delegate, you are demonstrating your respect for your colleague by asking them for their help. There is no shame in that. When you include and acknowledge you teammates, you open the way to acceleration for you, your teammates and your customers, to a better place for all. Don’t delay, do it today!
If you’d like a free copy of my Top 15 Best Delegation Practices, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your delegation nightmare story. Also, if you leave a comment here on this article, we’ll enter you into a drawing for a free Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting Coffee Mug. They’re Great!