Some of us are so good at what we do that we want to do them all! When you own a business, it’s easy to get carried away with wanting to be on top of everything. But this is cause for concern on three points:
- It talks a lot about the quality of the team that’s supporting you (or not)
- It means that you’re too bogged down with details to zone out to the big picture
- It also means that you’re not adding value to your team’s skillsets.
Let’s look at each of these points to understand why delegation will help you succeed.
The right team
For a business to succeed, you need the right team of people around you. No matter how smart or networked you are or however earthshattering your next big idea is, you’re going nowhere by yourself. You need people to help you reach success before you’re too old. If you are unable to delegate work to anyone in your team, think about why. Do you think they are incapable of performing tasks? Should you then be looking for replacements?
Making time for strategy
If you are the heart and soul of operations, then who’s meeting new clients? Who’s budgeting? Who’s making those big plans of where the business should be in 5 or 10 years? Who’s attending networking events? Who’s evaluating new marketing ideas? If the answer to these questions is “not me”, we’ve got a problem. As somebody in management, your job is to manage and provide direction, not to operate. Yes, it’s going to take some extra time teaching them how to work that excel sheet that you’re so good at, but think of the hours you’ll be saving every month on that budget versus actuals file when your junior has learnt it.
You’ve got to look at the big picture and leave the details to the team. This way, you can keep your fingers on the pulse of your business.
If you’re not delegating, then you’re also doing a big disservice to the individuals in your team. It’s only when you delegate that they learn new skills. Your junior has now learnt crucial excel and budgeting skills thanks to that budget versus actuals sheet you just taught her to make. Learning new things on the job makes them motivated and ready to move up to the next challenge. This also makes them value their jobs more. Delegating allows your team to learn from you, makes them be more productive and enables them look up to you as a mentor rather than a boss.
Make delegating a habit. Try to identify all tasks during your day that are not sensitive (like a business plan that’s only for management’s viewing) and are not too complex. Delegate them. The hint is – if you hear yourself saying “I’ll be able to do this faster. I’ll just do it myself.” – it’s probably something you should delegate!