Do you spend a lot of time on your computer, reading and answering tons of emails? Are you always working on so many tasks that an 8-hour workday doesn’t seem enough? Are there times when you ‘re itching to hire more staff but you’re not sure if they can do the job as efficiently as you do? If you say ‘yes’ to these questions, you’re probably having a hard time letting go of time-consuming tasks that are better given to someone else.
Some entrepreneurs have difficulty passing over responsibilities to other people. While their reasons vary, one thing is certain: refusing to delegate deprives them of the opportunity to propel the business forward.
Today I’d like to share a useful article I read a few months ago from Forbes.com entitled Work Less, Create More Value: The Art of Delegating. Author George Bradt helps readers classify which duties are worth doing and those which can be delegated. While he didn’t limit the article to business owners alone, I’m sure many startups will find his post very valuable. Here’s an excerpt of the article where he cites six options of completing tasks:
- Do Well Yourself
These are the things your end customer values most. You’re going to say no and downplay, delegate, cut back, and avoid other things so you can spend more time on these critical activities. This is where you and your team need to strive for perfection. Doing well is an understatement. Here’s where it’s essential to do your absolute best.
- Do yourself, but just well enough
You accept the need to do these things yourself. But they are not as important as some others. So, you should do them and do them well enough to satisfy the stakeholders that need them to fit into what they are doing for the end customer – and no better.
- Delegate and supervise
The items you delegate and supervise are important. You want them done well, but there isn’t enough value in doing them yourself. Or perhaps, there are others who can do the work better than you. Either way, you care about these items enough to supervise the work.
- Delegate and ignore
Items you delegate and ignore are off your plate. You hope the people you delegate to will do them well, but they don’t matter as much as other tasks. You’re prepared to accept whatever results come to fruition.
- Do later
Things you decide to do later may get done eventually, but certainly not now. They are one step above the bottom rung and delaying them may cause stress with the people who need them now. That’s a choice you’ve made in pursuit of the highest value adding activities for the end customer.
- Do never
Not only do you think these tasks are bad ideas for you and for people you might delegate to, but you also believe they are just bad ideas. Here’s your clearest “no.” Not me. Not others. Not anyone. Not now. Not ever. Go away. (Harsh, but clear.)
Trusting your business to other people may be challenging. You worked so hard to establish it and no one could probably love and care for it as much as you do. But as the owner, it is your ultimate task to make sure it grows bigger and better. Getting the help of competent, dedicated, and highly skilled people are a necessity. To create a viable business, delegating tasks must not only be done – it must be mastered.