A 2014 Gallup survey examined the business performance of 143 CEOs of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America, and found that those considered to have high delegation talent posted an average 3 yr growth rate that was 112% higher than CEOs who couldn’t delegate well.
Statistics such as these are telling in just how important effective delegation can be. Today we will be taking a look at five key problems that will undermine your attempts at delegating in your business, and of course, how to fix them.
“The first rule of management is delegation.”Anthea Turner
Delegation is essential to business growth, and yet, it can be so difficult for business owners to master this vital skill. Without being able to delegate work effectively, it’s always going to be impossible to clear your desk. It will soon be impossible to focus on the high level strategic management that your business needs. Pushing forward into delegation will allow you to let go of low level work. All those endless tasks that just hang around but don’t really get you anywhere will become a thing of the past. As you get better at delegation it will even allow you to let go of more core business work. This will see you going from growth into scaling.
So let’s have a look at these five key areas that need to be addressed, enabling you to pass on the work that needs to be done in your business, but not necessarily by you.
The first roadblock is having a sense of empty pockets, where you don’t feel like there’s enough money in the bank, or enough certainty in your revenue to justify the expense of delegating work. Instead of asking how you can afford it, you might want to flip that around and ask “how you can afford not to?” It costs literally nothing to take on interns or volunteers … even friends and family can be amazing people to rely on in the short term. Trading services is another way to get you out of that ‘do-it-yourself’ cycle, and allow you to free up more time.
The second Roadblock that gets in the way of successful delegation is having business blinkers on. This is where you are so locked into the here and now of the immediate, that you can’t see beyond today’s urgent fires. That can be a really dangerous place for business owners to be, and yet it’s such a common place to get stuck. You need to slow down to be able speed up, by making a deliberate strategic plan. So take a close look at what’s being done, map out what you can clear, and prepare to delegate the work that’s holding you back .
This leads us to the third roadblock which is simply poor management. Specifically, when the people you’re delegating to aren’t being supported, because the pathway for their work is not clearly laid out. Get connected with your team, get connected with the work that actually needs to be done, and get really strategic about the goals you’re pursuing. The best way is to get focused on only one goal at a time. Chasing too many things is an impossible juggling act with too many balls in the air.
The next thing that can stop you in your tracks when trying to delegate is being a bit of a control freak. This is when the owner has too much involvement so they struggle to let it go. This doesn’t allow the team to carry responsibilities independently to make their own detailed plans for their work. Take a leap of faith and let go of that workload. Make sure you’ve got adequate support for your team, and give them clear and concise goals to achieve. With a little bit of trust, you will find your business can flow more freely.
The last roadblock that often stands in the way of effective delegation is the opposite of the previous: an absent owner. It’s where the owner resists staying connected to what’s happening, with no processes in place to monitor or support their team. Set up accountability systems to establish regular times to check in with your team. Make sure you’re monitoring their performance and their engagement as well. Above all else, keep speaking the vision. Delegation is not abdication. It is not a time to step out and remove yourself entirely when your team needs support.
I hope that these five roadblocks have been helpful, and if you see yourself in some of them, then hopefully this might help to clear the way through.