I know this is nothing new. We are all aware delegation is necessary. “If you want something done right, Do it yourself.” Raise your hand if you can relate to this quote by Charles-Guillaume Étienne. That’s me, jumping up and down waving my hand in the air. I have been known to fall victim to that mantra every now and again.
That’s not terrible advice. The truth is if you want something done a particular way, your best bet might be to do it yourself. If you know you have the strongest skill set to complete a specific task, then sure, it makes sense for you to do it yourself. But, if we are honest with ourselves, there are times we know we should delegate, but we choose not to. So, why do we do this?
We’re all different, but here are a few reasons I’ve found affect our ability to delegate:
There’s Not Enough Time
It’s a catch-22, isn’t it? We need to delegate to free up more time, but we can’t free up enough time to be able to delegate. Make time. Start with smaller tasks and work your way to the more complex tasks.
We don’t want to give up control. Who would? We’ve worked hard to get where we are; we’ve put in the time and the sweat – would someone else care as much as we do? Would they apply the same attention to detail? What if they make a mistake?
Guess what. The right people will care as much as you do and pay attention as keenly as you. They will make mistakes. They’ll also learn from those mistakes, as you did through the years. That is of course if you’ll let them.
We Had Bad Teachers
In the course of my career, I’ve run into great managers and bad managers. The great managers are the ones who create systems to foster consistency and growth. Great managers are those managers that create opportunities for their team to grow and develop into future leaders.
If you’ve never had a manager that delegated to you, it may be as simple as, not knowing any better.
We Use It to Measure Self-Worth
When we are the only people that can accomplish a given task, we feel important. I get it. I’ve been there. The truth is though; we aren’t the only people that accomplish the task. There isn’t a single skill in the world that is held by only one individual. We are far more valuable when we can teach skills to others, share work loads, and be more efficient.
Whether you are running a business, managing a team, or just starting in your career, it is important to be aware of efficiency killing behaviors. Hoarding work is definitely at the top of that list. Delegation doesn’t only mean sharing the work with a team. Maybe you are a one woman show. That’s fine — delegation also includes the ability to automate certain tasks, so what are you waiting for?
Charles-Guillaume Étienne suggests: “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” Let’s counter with: If you want everything done right, delegate.