By Kevin Eikenberry
Many leaders really struggle when it comes to delegating. Some leaders think “No one can do it as well as I can,” and so they continue to complete tasks even when those tasks pull them away from more important work.
Other leaders are convinced that it will take longer to train employees to do a new task than it takes for them to just go ahead and do it.
When employees work remotely, that mindset is even more pervasive. The idea of training an employee over the phone seems exhausting.
However, learning how to delegate effectively is one of the smartest things you can do. Why? Because when you let go of some responsibilities, you free your time to focus on what you were actually hired to do. Ya know, the big-picture planning and business development activities that take your business to the next level?
When you aren’t trying to “do it all” and when you have empowered and delegated successfully to others, you can find time to do the following:
- Plan. As a leader you need to do more than just “complete the work.” You need to think about the direction of your team, to adjust the goals, to coordinate efforts and much more. When was the last time you scheduled time in your calendar (and kept it) to think about your direction and strategy? That is a key component of your job, and if you are focused on putting out fires and solving trivial problems, you will never gain time to strategize.
- Communicate. Leaders in every organization I’ve ever worked in or with have felt they could communicate more effectively. Communication is hard, and you need to do it often, and that includes connecting with those remote employees you don’t get to meet with in-person very often. When you reduce your workload, you can find the time to focus specifically on communicating with staff.
- Remove obstacles. When you aren’t caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day operations, you gain a broad perspective. You’re able to analyze results and past efforts to see where problems occurred and when they might occur again. You can anticipate potential roadblocks so that you can provide the resources employees need to succeed.
Not only does delegating help you, but it also helps your employees, who become more skilled, knowledgeable, decisive and confident. Review your list of responsibilities and decide today what tasks you can being delegating to your employees.
What is one task you can delegate today?