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3 Truths You Need To Know About Delegating

executives leadership professional development strategy team-building Feb 08, 2022

I don’t know about you but for me, life is busy these days. Many of my clients have taken on extra responsibilities in the past year as they’ve begun to adjust to a “new normal.” Sometimes in my calls with clients, I can sense the stress they feel from keeping so many plates spinning at once. Some even breathe an audible sigh of relief when they realize our work together means one less thing on their to-do lists. Whether you need help with your LinkedIn presence or just the permission to delegate to people you trust, I’ve got you.

Life is built for community, and your work life is no exception. Before you pull your hair out wondering how you’re going to get it all done, I encourage you to delegate. Consider this the permission you need to hand over the tasks that make you scrunch up your nose and hold onto the ones that excite and energize you. If asking for help feels outside of your comfort zone, remember these truths: 

 

1. Just because you CAN do it all, doesn’t mean you should. 

I’d venture a guess that you’re a very capable person. I’m continually impressed by the leaders I meet — so many of them could do just about any job in their organization. Still, that doesn’t mean they should.

Here’s a powerful exercise I learned as part of Strategic Coach. Line up all your tasks on a scale from irritating to ideal. Then, delegate anything that is less than ideal to someone else. (Reach out to me if you want a copy of this activity inventory worksheet!) The tasks you find irritating are the same tasks that bring others joy. When you’re not doing the tasks that bring you the most energy, you’re not fully living in your unique abilities. 

 

2. The quickest way to create friction is to create a team of a bunch of YOUs. 

Perhaps you’ve had a moment when you thought, “I wish I could just clone myself.” As nice as it sounds, creating a team of people just like you won’t get you very far. Instead, it’s important to seek out others who excel in areas where you don’t. Finding people who love the things that you just tolerate gives you such freedom to be creative and visionary. At the same time, you are empowering someone else to do what they love. That’s what leaders do! 

If you’re not sure where your strengths and weaknesses lie, an assessment can help. I personally love the Kolbe A Index. It measures how you do things. Many other assessments measure your cognition and perceptions, both of which change over time. For validity, I took the Kolbe A Index six years apart in wildly different stages of life and received a nearly identical result each time. 

If you’re curious, my Kolbe is 7762. What is yours?

 

3. Invest your time in onboarding. It will pay dividends down the road. 

When you finally find the right person or people to take on some of your work, it can be tempting to just hand over your tasks and carry on with the rest of your to-do list. Don’t do this! Instead, I encourage you to carve out the time and energy you need to properly onboard your new team members. 

No matter how smart and adaptable they are, new team members need the right information and resources to get the job done well. A little extra time spent on training on the front end will pay off in the long run. As you grow your team, make sure you set the right expectations. Expect FREEDOM and more time to do what you love. Also, use the 80/20 rule in a few ways. If your team gets a task 80 percent of the way to completion, you can take it the remaining 20 percent. Also, if your team can do it your way 80 percent of the time, then expect (at least) the other 20 percent to be better than what you anticipated. With this perspective, you’ll find that the learning between you and your team goes both ways. 

I’m all about saving you time and energy so you can focus on what really matters. A paid version of LinkedIn can provide you with the right tools to improve your workflow. Not sure which option is right for you? Check out my free guide to help you understand all your LinkedIn subscription options and invest in the right plan for YOU.

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