When I was in school, I was always in charge of group projects. And by in charge I mean I just did them all by myself. A group project quickly became an individual project where only the credit for the work was shared with others. The truth is that I didn’t mind. You see, I would much rather just do 4 times the amount of work and know that what needs to be done is done right. Are you with me?
But, as you run a company you can’t physically be involved in every aspect of the business. Well, I guess you could but you would never eat, sleep and others would not want to be around you. So, just for these reasons, let’s just say being intimately involved with everything that goes on is not an option we should pursue.
The solution is to become better at delegating. Probably like you, we find that we must be intentional in delating responsibility to our team members.
So, how do you delegate when you don’t think anyone else can do a job as good as you do it? Here are three things that I do:
- Accept that no one is going to do the job exactly as you would.
Not what you wanted to hear? The truth is as you train someone to take on a new role, they will develop their own way of doing it, and it is very possible that they might even do things better than you do. There is something incredible about bringing a fresh set of eyes onto something that you have been doing for years. Fresh eyes bring new ideas and new ideas can help you move ahead, even if it hurts.
- Understand that not everyone learns the same way.
Coming to the conclusion that not everyone learns things the same way will be a key to successful delegation. We always talk about the three ways that people learn and process information, visually (learning through seeing something), auditorily (learning through hearing something) and kinesthetically (learning through doing something). Your job as a manager is to understand how people learn and teach them in that way. You will always want to revert to your way of learning, but that won’t translate for about two-thirds of people.
- Hold employees accountable for their performance.
I recently read a quote that said that the only people who don’t fail are people who don’t do anything. Your employees will mess up, and that needs to be viewed as a learning opportunity for them. It is your job to make sure that they have the skill set necessary before you let them take on a task on their own, but once they are trained, be sure that each employee knows how their performance will be judged and hold them accountable to those standards.
When you hire someone, you need to give them real responsibility and not micromanage them. Nothing will deflate an employee faster than them feeling inadequate at their job. It is important that you focus on delegating tasks to employees so that you can truly run the business and not be in the middle of the business all the time.