And What I Need to Do to Get Better at It
Okay, today’s confession. I really am not good at delegating. This is something that I have always struggled with. Even though I know that I need to…I don’t. I try. I come up with new ideas and plans and nothing seems to work. I just suck at delegating.
As much as I see and hear about this and was able to find on the internet, it is evident that I’m not the only person with this issue. So, the question is, what am I going to do about it?
I have been searching to see if I can figure out what I’m doing wrong. The conclusion that I’ve reached is that I expect excellence from myself, so subsequently I expect it from everyone else. I don’t think this is asking too much from people who are doing work that I am responsible for. The problem is that I assume everyone already knows what that level of quality looks like without any explanation or training. While visiting with one of my sub-contractors recently and he thought that it was expecting too much for other people to perform at that level. I don’t believe that.
I do believe that even though I may not have been born with the delegating gene, I can still acquire it. I need a delegation transfusion. To get better I must learn more, practice more and do more.
The importance of delegation is supported biblically and by professional leaders. It’s just common-sense that a team of people can do more than one person. My understanding of the need for delegation is nothing new. I know that for me to achieve the things that I’ve been put here for, I’m going to need help. The key to delegating is in the leadership. I need to be a better leader.
There are a lot of things that I need to do to be a better delegator, but starting out I’m going to focus on these things:
- Explanation – to everybody that I give responsibility to. This includes assistants, coordinators, managers, contract labor, sub-contractors, suppliers, associates, anybody that I expect to do anything. This needs to involve big picture overview clear down to the smallest detail. If I’m going to expect excellence I need to explain what that looks like. This doesn’t mean that my way of doing it is the only way. It just means that the expectations need to be set and explained clearly.
- Hiring – the right people for the right positions. This is one of those things that to be done right takes some intentional planning and will be an extensive, time consuming process. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that it’s just quicker if I do it myself. This is a very short-sighted attitude and one that I have used too much. When I’m busily trying to get everything done I fall into this narrow-minded trap. A good example of hiring is found at Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeaders’ Best Hiring Practices.
- Training – the process of asking and answering questions. I’ve never been a great teacher. Not only is this bad for long-term plans, it isn’t fair to those people whom I’ve delegated to. One of the things that I came across while researching delegating was the benefit to those being trained. The possibility to grow and expand. It occurred to me that this is an opportunity for me to serve them.
Being overwhelmed is a common and self-inflicted state of existence. Trying to keep all those plates spinning can make us dizzy.
Share your best or worst delegating examples or delegating questions in the comment section below.