Do or Die – Delegation or Death (of my business)

Passing the Torch

There’s not a manager I’ve met or talked to that doesn’t have a hard time delegating work to others.  Why is this?  Why do we all tend to resist what can help us be more productive and allow us to focus on more important roles in leadership?  Is it simple control?  Our normal behavior as managers and leaders is to want to do everything ourselves because we know it will be done correctly.  Sound familiar to anyone?

Another famous statement I’ve heard spoken time and time again would be “By the time I show them how to do it I could have done it myself.”  This is the dilemma of delegation.  Wow, it’s a tough nut to crack!  That statement feels like there is some merit to the arguments about time spent teaching versus doing.   But wait, there, right there is the flaw that holds us back.  We never want to account for the tens or hundreds of times into the future this task could be completed for us and thus save us hours upon hours of time.  Yes, any given one instance there is a loss in our time spent teaching versus doing it ourselves.  Or is that even true?  Was the time lost or was it spent investing?  By investing I mean investing into the time you gain later when this task surfaces once again.  Not to mention, the investment in developing your team member to be the support you need.

As managers, in most cases, we got to where we are by being doers, by hitting the door running in the morning and mowing to do’s down like fresh grass.  We thrive on it.  We live for it.  Then someone says “If you show me how to do that, I could start doing it for you each week.”  Suddenly, this causes a break in our view of why we’re important and needed in our roles.  This is where the average manager will operate for most of their time.  They will hold onto work that should be passed on and will fight for it.  Those managers that have evolved beyond this group may allow some work to be done by their team but will replace it with more work that should be done, you guessed it, by their team.  Then, there are the true visionary leaders.  Those that delegate effectively and capture that time they have recouped to work on the business, not in the business.  This allows them the time to think freely, less the clutter of to-do’s that normally would be chasing them down.

Coaching leaders to this last stage of development are one of the bigger challenges because we fight against it so hard. It’s also very rewarding because once we can truly offload the work that should be done by our teams then we can elevate our thoughts to the vision of the business. There, surfaces the creativity that’s needed to drive real growth and change in thriving companies.  Our focus is to teach the value of what to do with this time saved to help inspire great leaders to find a new drive.  We want to help managers understand the liberty in delegating as much as they possibly can to their teams and how to use the time they’re saving to build some of the best companies out there.

Wishing you continued growth,


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