When not to delegate in your business


You will always hear me singing the praises of the business owner that manages their business by delegating the right tasks. Effectively delegating means you clear the work off your desk, clear your headspace, create time, and grant the opportunity for growth. 

In her 2005 book “Management Skills for New Managers” Carol Ellis describes the importance of effective delegation: “Managers who delegate effectively have direct reports that are more capable and enthusiastic because of the delegation experience. A good manager knows that delegation is the way to achieve results through others.”

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To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.  Doug Conant

Business leaders should absolutely be delegating, it’s not only how they grow, it’s but how they can scale their business, and ultimately, it’s the only way that they can sell their business. If you’re tied in to all that work, you don’t own a business, you simply have a job.

Now, in saying all of that, there are some key times in your business management when it’s best to not delegate. In these instances, it is best to do it yourself for whatever reason. Here are five times that I’ve found that it’s best not to delegate. 



The first one is when it’s a little one off task, one that simply needs to be ticked off of our list.

In a business there are lots of little tasks that you are probably never going to do again. It feels better just to take care of it yourself, rather than taking up precious time setting up systems around that task so you can pass it on. You want to make sure that any processes that you’re doing documenting in order to delegate work, are going to have a long lasting impact. 



The next reason that you should not be delegating, is if you love the work you’re doing. Now ultimately to build a business that you can scale or sell, you are going to have to let go of some of that work you love. Hold on to it when you can because if that’s the thing that rejuvenates you, and keeps you active and vibrant and alive in your business, it is absolutely worth holding on to. If you need to, clear some of the other stuff away, and keep that one on your desk. 



The next time you should consider not delegating, is when you haven’t set up adequate support for the team members that you’re delegating to. This is really important to create autonomy and independence on the part of your team members. If they don’t have systems of support around them and you delegate those tasks, you’ll find that they’re left to perform a task that they can’t complete well or consistently, and it may cause confusion, frustration, and resentment.



Number four is when there’s no overall strategic plan, you’re probably best not to delegate the task through to your team members. If you don’t have a plan about why you’ve chosen that job, what room will it create for you? What are you going to do with that extra room in your business? What is the role of that job in the employees day? Having a strategic plan is absolutely essential to have that delegation key into the long term growth of your business.


Finally, when the task is a leader’s only job, you should not be delegating it. In any business there are some things that only a business leader can do, delegation is not abdication. Knowing what tasks fall into this category is vitally important, and can also be a personal learning point. Embracing the leadership challenge in your business is vital for you to keep driving your business forward, to achieve the mission and fulfill the vision that you’ve got set out.


Knowing when to, and when not to delegate, is just as important as effective delegation itself. Getting this right will keep your business growing and growing!


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If this article has struck a chord with you, please go right ahead and message me. I would love to hear more about what you do, and how I might be able to help you transform your business into the Freedom Machine you have wanted all along. Let’s establish a proven system in your business to create team certainty and sustainable expansion which open pathways to the lifestyle choices you’ve worked so hard for. No matter where you are, I am only a message away.

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