Articles and Advice

Delegation is Not a Dirty Word

 “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” This could well be the motto for the entrepreneur. After all, it takes a certain type of person to create something from nothing. But as a business grows, so too does the workload. With only 24 hours in the day (not even an entrepreneur can disrupt that), there will come a time when you need to share the load. If delegation doesn’t come naturally, here are a few ways to ease yourself into it.

You are competent, confident and results-driven and yes, you can run your startup single-handedly. But what about when your startup takes off? When you have employees, a growing list of customers, suppliers and administration tasks? Carrying the weight of an entire organisation is far heavier than carrying the load of a fledgeling startup, even for the most effective leader. For most entrepreneurs delegation doesn’t come naturally. So, learning the art of delegation will be one of the most important skills to learn as your business grows.

If you can’t delegate as your business grows, your company will never grow bigger than what one person can handle.

It’s not Easy

No, it’s not easy to hand over something that you have toiled so long and hard on. Something that has consumed your every waking moment and that you have had complete control over. The easiest way to tackle delegation is to start as you mean to go on. Start delegating at the beginning so that it’s not difficult or unnatural to delegate once the business is in full swing. It’s a huge psychological step to let someone else into something you have created. It won’t hurt as much if you do it right from the start.

Why you Need to delegate

It’s a rare breed of entrepreneur whose skillset covers both innovative thinking and organisational management. If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are your skills lie in the former rather than the latter.

The God Complex

You started this business from scratch, and you have done amazing things with it. The achievement has given you the belief that you can do anything and everything. It’s natural to believe you can conquer anything once you have tasted success. But as things grow, you’ll realise you can’t keep achieving at the same level without support. Sure, you can work hard. But there are only 24 hours in the day and that is something you can not change. There comes a time when relinquishing some responsibility is not just a good idea, but a necessity.

Ditch the Admin

Not surprisingly, an entrepreneur who has their mind on big dreams and big pictures will overlook the little details. After all, there’s a reason you left your perfectly well-paying job to take a crazy risk and go out on your own. So, don’t end up back there, tied to a desk doing the organisational stuff. Hire passionate, awesome people who will do that for you. If you’re about to launch a game-changing innovation to the market, you don’t need to spend time dealing with an employee who needs to talk about holiday pay.

How to Delegate

Leaders, managers and entrepreneurs all agree that having an efficient and intelligent team around you is the best thing you can do to ensure success. Richard Branson says that his secret to success is people. He is an advocate for finding people who have skills that he doesn’t. And it is when you empower good people that the magic happens.

Treat delegation as one of your key business decisions. And then take a step back. No matter how hard this may be. It’s probably in your nature to be the problem-solver. You probably have an idea of how work should be done, or the solution to a situation before you even hand it over to an employee. While this is how you naturally operate, it can sabotage the situation for the employee. Set deadlines, budgets and resources but then give the team member time to deliver their own solutions.

Grow Your Employees as you Grow Your Business

Start by delegating the easy tasks first. If the work is done well, you know you have someone who you can train up to take on greater responsibility and authority. Delegate tasks that have short-term effects. It’s up to you as the business leader to devote your attention to decisions that will affect the long-term growth of the business.

Recurring tasks are ideal for delegation. It is easy to create a process or system for these types of tasks, and it is not critical to have the same person doing the task.

Ideally, you will choose to have people on your team who shine brightly. When delegating, you want to make decisions that will contribute to the growth and development of your employees as well as the growth and development of your organisation. This is something that all parties will benefit from down the line.

Once you have delegation down, you will find yourself in a place where you have time to think about the bigger picture and new innovations. A far more comfortable place for an entrepreneur to be.

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