4 Thoughts You Need To Let Go Of So You Can Delegate Already

Intellectually and theoretically you know you need to delegate.

You could list the benefits (it allows you more time to do your ‘secret sauce’ work which in turn brings in more money and prevents burnout) but letting go is just so hard.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time for a bit of tough love. Here are four thoughts you need to let go of before you can delegate effectively. (Really, it’s for your own good!)

1. “I’m the only person who can do this.”

You’ve probably carried these duties on your shoulders for years. It can be terrifying to think that some of your work can be outsourced! Acknowledging that something can be delegated is not the same as acknowledging you’re not great at it.

Sure, you’re great at making your own travel arrangements and assembling your own presentations and onboarding new clients. But is that your true zone of genius? Nope. Can someone else make hotel and flight reservations? Absolutely.

2. “It’s faster if I do it myself.”

Is it a bit painful to watch an employee labor over something that would take you thirty seconds? Of course.

When we make the investment in teaching and leading others, we’re making an investment in ourselves and our company. When you create a style guide or tutorials for your employee, you’re making things easier for both of you in the long term. That up-front time investment will pay dividends* in the months and years to come.

*Dividends being fewer back-and-forth emails and faster, higher quality results. Which sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?

3. “My employee has to do this exactly the same way I do it. And exactly as well.”

I know it is so, so, so hard when you get a project back from your employee that’s good … but not totally, mindblowingly amazing. “What’s the point?” you grumble. “I could have made this so much better!”

Then you spend an hour reworking the project so it is, in fact, mindblowingly amazing. But the difference between the two projects is probably imperceptible and now you’ve lost an hour of time you can’t get back.

How do you know when to delegate? This fantastic article from Inc.com tells us:

Put simply, if the person the CEO would like to perform the task is able to do it at least 70 percent as well as he can, he should delegate it. Is it frustrating that the task won’t be done with the same degree of perfection or perceived perfection that the CEO himself could achieve? Sure! But let go of perfection. Is it easier said than done? Yes, certainly. But there is no place for perfection when it comes to delegation. The upside for the CEO is that he doesn’t need to spend any time on the task–zero. The “return on time” he doesn’t spend on that task is infinite, in addition to gaining that same time to invest in a higher impact project.

4. “If I find the right employee, they’ll never, ever make a mistake.”

Oh, how I wish this were true! But the truth is we’re all human. You’re human – and so is every single person to whom you delegate tasks.

You’ve made mistakes – and you’ll probably make a few more in the span of your lifetime. Even the best, most perfectly suited employee will occasionally make mistakes, links won’t work, typos will slip through. That doesn’t mean they’re not the right employee for you or that you should stop delegating.

Take a deep breath, go watch a funny cat video, and double check your accountability practices. And then remember we’re all human.

Did I convince you? Are you ready to delegate? In the comments, I’d love to hear either
:

a) What’s keeping you from delegating?
b) How you gotten past your delegation hangups?

Susan Drumm

Susan Drumm spent over a decade teaching companies like L’Oreal, Viacom and Condé Nast how to lead their teams towards multi-million dollar growth. Now she uses those same leadership skills to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses to seven-figure success. Your success as an entrepreneur depends on your ability to hire, inspire and lead team. Follow @DrummLeadership on Twitter and get Susan’s free ebook on hiring your dream VA here.

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