I’ve noticed that all too often, most business owners feel that if they are not vigorously engaged with their business, it will fall apart. On the contrary, the true measure of business success is when it has become a well-oiled machine that its leader is almost no longer useful.
When I provide business coaching to my clients, I always explain to them the value of trusting their people instead of constantly bugging them or tweaking things all the time. As the old saying goes, “Do less and accomplish more; do nothing and accomplish everything.” The only way to achieve that is by mastering the art of delegation.
Being able to empower and entrust your employees with specific tasks and decisions make them more committed to the overall objectives of the business, and it also makes them feel valued and trusted. It takes a load off your plate, and you can get back to focusing on more pressing matters.
Read more from our blog: Business owners need to master one thing at a time, and here’s why
If you’re slowly becoming a micromanager (or are afraid to become one), take a look at the following tips on understanding and learning how to delegate effectively.
Break free from the “I’ll do it myself” curse
I’ve known many business owners who always felt like they have to do everything themselves. Eventually, they’ve become so bogged down and stressed by their regular obligations that, sooner or later, they’ve broken down mentally and physically.
This is common among hardworking people. They feel that it’s not appropriate to ask other people to do things for them. They feel like they’re imposing on other people and they’re afraid that other might view them as someone who can’t stand on their own two feet. But this is a totally erroneous notion. Delegation is not asking someone for a favor — it’s actually giving someone his or her due responsibility and power to contribute to the business. Depriving employees of their obligation negatively impacts both the business side and the employees’ side.
Give yourself more free time
The most basic foundation of delegation is freeing yourself from too much work. Every time you remove a task from your own workload, you will be obliged to delegate it to someone else. Once you’ve given other people a chunk of the responsibility, it then frees you to pursue broader horizons. It permits you to raise your activities to a higher level and explore new possibilities for the business. Perhaps you can look at ways to advance the efficiency of how things are being done. Or you can try and discover new ways of marketing or explore new products or services you can offer your customers or clients.
Carefully pick which tasks you are prepared to delegate
As a business leader, you should be using your time only on the most critical and urgent tasks for your business, things that only you can do. What you should be willing to delegate are things that you can’t do, and what doesn’t interest you.
For example, if you’re not particularly savvy when it comes to the technology side of marketing, don’t waste time micromanaging your social media team or your web designer. Get someone to supervise and look after activities that you may not have the proper knowledge or expertise to decide on. Be careful, though, in choosing which aspects of your business you give others to take over, or you might end up losing control of your business.
Establish a system in choosing the best person to delegate to
Assess the traits, values, and characteristics of those who will perform well when you delegate to them. That entails entrusting tasks to people who deliver, not the people who are the least busy. This requires hiring people with the right skills and with accountability.
If things go wrong, people will question your decision on why you assigned the task to that person who messed it up. Make sure that if that happens, you and your trusted employee will have what it takes to stay accountable and transparent. Evaluate whether the failed activity was indeed a result of poor choice of delegation or was caused by something that’s beyond anybody’s control.