If You Want to Be Successful You Need to Delegate More and Here’s Why

claire whittaker scaling without sacrifice the workroom Nov 19, 2021

By Claire Whittaker. 

Finding yourself working late every night? Busting your butt to get everything done but never feeling like you're moving forward?

Yep, we've all been there.

You have more work than you can handle, so why don't you delegate?

Entrepreneurs, especially women, typically wait too long to delegate. However, this isn't exclusively a habit of entrepreneurs. For example, I was terrible at delegating when I worked at corporate. I had been working at Amazon for a couple of years. Moving quickly up the corporate ladder, I was keen to impress. Can anyone else relate?

I thought that asking for help was a sign of weakness. So instead of delegating out tasks to my team, I kept hold of the bulk of the work. I worked long hours, skipping lunch, feeling more and more stressed. I truly believed that doing more would show how talented I was and get me promoted.

The opposite happened.

I burned out. I was miserable, and the quality of my work suffered as a result. One day, my manager took me aside to tell me that my lack of ability to delegate was screwing up the business in the nicest possible way. If I didn't get better at prioritising and focusing on delivering the tasks I needed to do, I would never get promoted.

It was time to start delegating.

I'm not going to tell you things turned around overnight. Of course, they didn't. But over the next year, I handed over more and more of the work that wasn't in my zone of genius. As a result, I got more confident and ultimately delivered much more for the business (and got promoted!)

 

Where are you holding yourself back?

So often, we wear busy as a badge of honour. But busy doesn't mean productive. Based on what I have learned from my corporate colleagues and working with clients, two things hold people back from delegating.

● Scarcity mindset - "I don't have the money/time to delegate."
● Perfectionism - "They won't be able to do it as well as me. It'll be quicker for me to do it."

Either of those sound familiar to you?

They sound like great reasons on the surface not to delegate. But the truth is these are mindset issues. The saying goes, entrepreneurs give up working 40 hour weeks to work 80 hour weeks. And we tell ourselves we start businesses for more freedom…

I'm not having a go at you; I want you to look at where you're spending your time.

Does everything on your to-do list move the needle forward? Those things that HAVE to be done do they HAVE to be done by you?

And now, for the tricky question, are you sabotaging your growth by working in this way?

 

How to identify what you should be delegating

Below are three ways to think about delegating and where you should hire in your business. These items are by no means a comprehensive list, but it's a good start.

Think about:
● Where am I seeing bottlenecks: look for places where your lack of time or skillset is slowing down a process
● Zone of genius: What tasks need to be done but aren't in your zone of genius?
● Self-care: What things do you dislike doing in your business to the point where they impact your mental health? Can you delegate some of these?

Once you have a list of items or processes you want to delegate, it's time to prioritise them.

This is important because building a team around your business should be a process. First, you will need to hire people with the right skillsets for the different types of tasks. Once hired, they will need to be trained and onboarded. This process takes time, so you don't want to take on too much in one go.

When prioritising, there are a couple of ways I recommend you think about it.

1. What does the business need?

Your business needs you to keep it healthy. That's your primary job. However, there will be things your business needs to stay healthy that are not in your zone of genius. For example, if you're a marketing genius but hate processes, you can consider hiring someone to help you with project management & systems.

Both skill sets are essential to running a business. However, you can prioritise delegating tasks outside your zone of genius to improve the overall quality of how the business is run.

2. Where are you spending your time?

The second way to think about delegation is to look at where you're spending your time. What tasks are keeping you away from work inside your zone of genius? Then think about which of those tasks take up the most time. These tasks are a great place to start delegating.

Now you have a list of tasks or a function in mind to delegate, spend some time documenting your current processes and what you want to achieve. Finally, make sure that before delegating, you clearly understand what success would look like for someone coming into the role. This last step will save you hours of back and forth as you transition.

To conclude… You need to be delegating.

As you start to grow your business or rise in your corporate career, delegating is a crucial skill to master. When you can spend more time in your zone of genius, you will grow faster and have more fun doing so!

When thinking about delegation, you can use two lenses:
1. What does the business need?
2. Where am I spending my time?

Once you have your target list, make sure to understand what the person you will delegate to's goals will be. This little bit of extra planning will help set you up for success so that you can continue to thrive.

Creating a team is an incredible experience. You grow so much, and it's beautiful to watch others grow too.

So what are you waiting for?

 


Claire Whittaker is the Founder of Artificially Intelligent Consulting (AIC) and is on a mission to empower 1000 purpose-driven entrepreneurs & agencies to scale to 7-figures without having to sacrifice everything else that makes life fun.

A systems and automation specialist, Claire never sacrifices work for fun, has a razor-sharp eye for structure and loves nothing more than a Sunday roast and a margarita. You can find out all about her here. 

 

 

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