The Trust Fall Called Delegation

School is out!  It’s summer and for many of us, it’s vacation time. Time to take a break, relax, maybe enjoy a new locale or revisit a beloved place with friends and family. And upon returning to work, we are refreshed and reinvigorated. Except, for some of us, we return to piles of emails, texts, messages and projects that are overwhelming. As I have heard many times, “I need a vacation after my vacation to catch up!” 

There is a solution to this conundrum: delegation. 

My quick internet search of this topic yielded so many blogs and articles about the importance of making sure there’s somebody else who can handle things for a few days or weeks so you can go on vacation or have the flu or cope with a family event without spending the rehearsal dinner on the phone with your scheduling manager.

Delegating, frankly, is a skill set unto itself. It’s difficult for those of us who like to be in charge. I have a friend who told me recently that she’s been working 80 hours a week. She’s had to cancel interviews she set up with people she might hire to help with the workload because she couldn’t stop long enough to meet with them. This is not good. This is not sustainable. This is not strategic.

Let’s face it, after the first 50 or 60 hours, you’re probably not getting that much work done. Whereas if you took that extra 10 or 20 hours and hired someone and started to train them, they could be handling 40 hours and you could, you know, breathe. Or if you have employees and you spend 30 minutes with them in the morning making sure everybody’s ready for the day, you can leave those tasks to them rather than hovering like one of those parents the media’s always complaining about these days.

You’d probably do better work, too. Really, when you’re working that much, it’s like pedaling your bike in first gear. If you hand over some of the responsibility to someone you trust, it’s like moving into second gear. And each revolution of the pedal takes you farther in second gear. If you want to grow, you have to learn to delegate.

This is easy to discuss but not so easy to implement. It’s about learning to let go. As long as you ARE the business, the business is limited.

Once you are ready to delegate, the “how to” is important. So take the time to hire people who are competent, emotionally mature and trustworthy and then…the scary but ultimately rewarding part,  trust them. Delegate increasingly important tasks to them and be around to catch them, at first, if something goes awry.

Finally, let them go so you can go and then go! On a trip to the beach and watch your kiddos in the surf.

Interested in training your team or yourself in the fine art of delegation? We are here to help.

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