Most of my clients tell me that they are overwhelmed. As we dig into this, they tell me they are doing to much. They also are often correcting the work of others. They have this idea that “Its quicker and better if I do it myself.” Sounds like a recipe for overwhelm to me.
People are afraid to delegate for any number of reasons. They are responsible so, if they delegate and it goes wrong, it still falls on them. They also feel it will take more time to train someone. Yes, initially that can be true. But once they are trained the leader no longer has to do that task and, they can devote the time to more strategic issues.
Here are some delegation strategies I have seen work:
- Identify what to delegate. As the leader you need to be doing work that no one else can. If someone else can do the work, consider delegation.
- Provide the time and instruction to ensure that the delegation is successful. Yes, this may take more time initially but in the long term it ensures success. This in turn will free up more time.
- Check in on the status of the project or work. Is it on track? Is it moving toward the outcome you defined?
- Provide the resources and authority required to succeed. If someone is in charge of customer satisfaction. What are the limits of what they can do? Nordstrom’s was legendary in their return policy to ensure customer satisfaction. To the point where they actually let a person return items not purchased at Nordstrom’s. In one story they let someone return a pair of tires.
- Practice I had one client who as a practice delegated a part of each project he was assigned. He wanted to get good at the practice of delegation because he knew that in order to scale his business, he could not do it alone.
When you feel overwhelmed it is time to slow down in order to go faster. Slow down to see what you can delegate or even just stop doing. Once you identify all of the tasks to delegate chose a few to start with and follow the steps above. As you do this you will find that your time becomes more strategic, your team grows in their capabilities and you have the talent to scale.
If you are interested in learning more about how to regain control of your life let’s schedule a chat.