The 3 Myths of Delegation
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
Some have a successful business, run a family and a household and still have time for themselves.
Others spend their time doing frustrating, repetitive tasks and not seeming to be able to do what they want with their life.
Have you spent days doing things you don’t love to do?
Have those days turned into weeks and then months and then years?
Then before you know it have you had a life of doing things you don’t really want to do?
Delegation is essential for an inspired life
Many rush in and delegate and don’t get the result they want. Others are reluctant to even get started.
Delegation is a skill and like any skill can be learned and mastered.
For my life and my business, delegation has liberated me to do what I love and what I am good at, and also been an essential factor in the growth of my business and finances.
There is often a reluctance to delegate among managers and small business owners, yet this skill is so important I would like to address the top three most common objections.
1. I Can’t Afford It
One of my mentors once told me
“consider that the only reason you can’t afford to delegate is because you haven’t delegated”
When starting out in business a lot of time can be spent on the internal functions of the business. Although necessary, this is not what builds business.
Customer focused activities build business.
To say you can’t afford to delegate, often means you are prioritising internal activities over customer focused activities.
Delegating away the internal tasks gives you more freedom to focus on the customer. Customer focus is what builds business.
It’s all about priorities.
What is the highest priority, highest income producing activities that you can be doing?
Focus on those, put metrics around it and refine it and you will certainly see a return greater than the cost of delegation.
Also ensure you are delegating effectively and focus your team as much as possible on customer focused activities. Create an understanding that even internal tasks only exist to maximise the efficiency at which you deliver your service.
2. It’s Quicker to do It Myself
False. It’s quicker to do it yourself once, or twice.
Let’s say you want one of your employees to do a task that takes you 45 mins a week.
You start by writing out all the actions and create defined procedure and standard for completion.
That takes you 3 hours.
You then show that employee how it’s done and it may take you an hour and 20 mins the first week to show them.
Then the second week you allow them to do some of the task while you watch and help and it may take an hour.
On the third week you allow them to do the job themselves and you check the result that takes you 15 mins.
You then leave it to them and after 3 weeks check in and see it done to your standard and that takes another 15 mins.
In total it has taken you 5 hours and 50 mins.
Doing the task your self is taking you 39 hours per year.
By delegating it away you have just saved yourself 33 hours.
That’s 4 extra days in the year you could be focused on high priority, income producing activity.
When you’re saying it’s easier to do it myself, you have shrunken your space and time horizons.
Value your time and value your life by thinking long term.
There is nothing wrong with doing the job yourself for the short term to better understand it, but have a strategy to delegate it away or you will be stuck with a low priority task.
3. If You Want Something Done Right, Do it Yourself
It is true that your employees may never love your business quite as much as you do, but if you don’t delegate away key tasks you will never grow.
The key is to set clear standards of how you want things done.
Every task can be broken down to specific actions.
Make sure you clearly define all the actions that lead to the job being done that way that you like it.
I spent 10 years recruiting chefs. I thought that I had some gut instinct that made me good at doing it. When it came time to delegate this task, I had to break down exactly what it was that I had put down to gut instinct.
I found that it could all be broken down and qualified. I was looking at the way they interacted in the interview, their dress, the way they responded to emails etc. Once I ascertained all the determinants, I put it in a checklist and delegated the task effectively.
If you hire the right people, set standards for the work and regularly check progress there is no reason the job can’t be done the way you like it.
In fact, if you delegate away to the best, they will probably do it better than you ever did anyway.
Want to learn more about delegation?
Check out our upcoming course 'Plan the Life You Love"