So many freshly-minted managers and entrepreneurs dread delegation. They fear the idea, as if it meant giving up control of their very limbs – like marionettes to malicious puppeteers. In actuality, that notion couldn’t be further from the truth.
Delegation isn’t debilitating, it’s liberating.
Rather than being transformed into the metaphorical marionette – without any agency or control — leaders who start to delegate effectively are essentially freeing themselves. Each task that they delegate to another, qualified professional is like one of those puppet strings being snipped – giving them greater freedom of movement, choice, and self-determination.
Once all those strings are snipped, leaders can do the types of things that only they can do – strategizing, establishing and cultivating culture, making large, impactful decisions, etc.
Think of it this way – there are dozens of tasks that must be done every single day just to keep your business afloat. And if your business grows, the number and scope of those tasks will grow along with it.
Leaders Must Delegate to Grow
Do you — or any other single person for that matter — have the knowledge, skill, energy, and time to handle all those tasks? How about handling them effectively? How about handling them effectively and having enough free time and resources left over to focus on growth?
Let me spare you the need for thinking too much. The answer is “NO!”.
No leader ever did it alone, and no one ever will. You are no exception, and you need to get over the fear of letting other people play in your sandbox. I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, but at a certain point, a leader’s unwillingness to let go starts to verge on the ridiculous. Worse yet, it starts to verge on self-destructive. Because if one’s business is to thrive, one must delegate.
Take it Slowly
With that being said, I understand it can be tough to let go. You’ve worked so hard to get your business off the ground, and the idea of handing over even a single rein to someone else can be a bit unnerving. It’s like letting someone else watch your baby for the first time. The only thing you can think about while you’re away is the near-infinite number of ways that person can mess up.
So, don’t start by letting someone babysit your youngster for a long weekend. Instead, let a trusted friend hold them for a while; then have them watch the baby for the afternoon; then let them take care of the kid overnight. Before you know it, you’ll realize that not having to give every bath and change every diaper isn’t terrifying, it’s terrific!
And just as in delegation, no one expects you to give up your baby (read: the business or cause you’ve dedicated your life to). It’s still yours, it’s just that you rely on the help of others to ensure it grows to become happy, healthy, and successful.
So, what do you say? Ready to let someone else drive a little bit of your business? Click here to download 25 Things You Can Delegate to an Assistant.