As a boss, manager, owner, yes, it probably is quicker to do it yourself. Sadly, the challenge is that as long as you think that way, you’ll always have to do it yourself!
If you want to have a successful team/department/business (and a life), then doing everything yourself will have some predictable outcomes:
* In the long term, it will affect your health
* It could affect your marriage (or significant relationship)
* It prevents other people learning and growing
* It sends the message that you don’t trust anyone
* It says to your staff that they will never be as smart as you
* People will eventually leave and go elsewhere. Possibly even moving to your competitor!
Not delegating (and not trusting) is what I call a but. Buts are fears; and the only way to overcome a fear, is to discover a WIIFM – what’s is in this for me? Think about that. What could you be doing differently if you had even half a day a week free of operational problems?
Do you think your bottom line might significantly improve if you were:
- Out in the market-place talking to key clients?
- Working on finding new clients and/or markets?
- Brainstorming ideas for new products and services?
- Talking to other business owners about possible alliances or synergies?
A better use of your time? Absolutely.
Most owners and managers are terrified of delegating because they’re terrified people will make mistakes. And they probably will. But how did those same managers and owners learn? By making lots of mistakes! So delegate the easy stuff first; something that won’t cost an arm and a leg if the person makes a mistake. That way they gain confidence and you can start handing over the harder stuff.
So where to start?
You start by making the decision to hand over one small aspect of your job to one valued employee.
Please don’t confuse delegation with abdication. You must be willing to support them through the learning process; to coach, guide and mentor. Then when the first task is safely handed over (and don’t be surprised if the person ends up doing the job better than you ever did) you are ready to hand over one more task to one more valued employee; and so on until you have your half day a week or even full day a week. Then as an owner/manager/team leader, you will be working where you need to be working, on the strategic issues of your business.
It’s as simple as that.
Yes it will take time – sometimes we have to take small steps backwards to gain a giant leaps forward. Just keep remembering your WIIFM – big chunks of time spent doing more important things more effectively.
Be prepared to be very surprised at the results. You will live longer, be happier, stay married longer and as if that wasn’t enough, your bottom line results should have similarly grown by a corresponding 30%!
Trust in your people – in my experience, they will never let you down.
Ann Andrews CSP. Author, speaker, profiler