Delegation without Abdication


Mastering effective delegation can help business owners/managers on many levels. It can help them gain confidence AND multiply good organizational results by a greater level. It can prevent job burnout, reduce stress levels, and promote healthy work/life balance. And, delegation is one of THE greatest tools to equip and mold others to grow as leaders, as well as do more for the team and organization. But often delegation is weak, or simply lacking from an organization.

(See my weekly “Success Quick Tip” video on this here)

Why do people NOT delegate? It often comes down to feelings of fear: fear of loss of control, fear that someone else might actually do it better, fear of the unknown, fear of judgment from others (“He can’t handle this on his own”).

Often there are stated reasons around not delegating: “I tried it once.” “It takes me longer to teach them than to do it myself.” “I know I’ll do it right.” The real reason, in most cases, is that the owners/managers simply don’t trust themselves. They don’t trust that they know how to delegate without losing control while doing it.

It helps to move someone through the delegation process if they understand that delegation does not mean abdication. Loss of control does not need to be part of the equation if delegation is done purposefully and properly. Proper delegating means empowering someone else, and, as result, growing the results of the organization (and, possibly, make yourself look better). The manager/owner must understand that he/she is ultimately in control, and that every employee needs to get better in order for the business to grow. Delegation involves leadership and growth for everyone. If an employee doesn’t expect to grow, that person is a drain in the organization. The owner/manager must see: “I add value, but my focus is to help the WHOLE organization grow in value, in order for it to move forward.” In other words, like a chain, the organization is only as strong as its weakest link.

Additionally, the owner needs to look inside him/herself and answer the questions: “Why am I trying to build this business for myself, as a person?” “What are MY needs as the owner/manager?” Partnering with employees is a great way for the owner to get his/her personal needs met…and delegation is a great way to partner with employees, and inspire them to be their best.

What is needed to start an effective delegation process? First, the person in charge needs to give the employee the whole process, i.e.: a “map”, showing processes, procedures, and guidelines in the area being discussed. If everyone is “too busy” to do this, there may be a need to look at how organizational planning is done. In this situation, as in business planning, this “mapping” time, is time well spent (1 minute of planning saves 9 minutes of chaos. True).