Leadership Development, Remote Working

If you’re not delegating, you’re probably becoming a bottleneck in your own success

Delegation is a skill that leaders need to develop over time by balancing structures and process and gradually providing team members with added responsibility for time. This skill is essential in balancing workloads and providing your team with development opportunities.
As a business founder, you’ve probably got this far without having to ask for help. You’ve created your business or team from the bottom up in a self-sufficient way. 

You’ve hired an awesome team around that take on many projects, but you but you’re still struggling to give up ‘control’ of projects and day-to-day runnings in your business. 

Your mindset keeps reverting to ‘I’ll just do it myself’ which is creating a never-ending to-do-list and prevents you from focusing on the most strategic responsibilities within the business. 

What’s the cost of not delegating? I’ve coached many founders who are struggling with the art of effective delegation, and the result is that they are becoming bottlenecks in their own and their business’s growth and success. 

When you say YES to something, what are you saying NO to? 

For example, ‘When I say YES to attending a client call, I say NO to connecting with investors.’
If you have nodded in agreement to any of the above statements, then please read on and remember, you’re not alone in these challenges. 

1.Remind yourself that you’ve hired resourceful and capable people

Many leaders that struggle with delegation know that they have hired a great team around them; however, when it comes to handing a task or project over, the need to maintain control can be overwhelming. If you have confidence in your hiring process and performance management process, you should have no reason to fear delegation. 

During this stage, it’s always helpful to challenge that inner voice with some cold hard data. For example, you’re passing over a new prospect to an employee who has worked on your sales team for over a year. What data do you have that would tell you they are not capable of handling this prospect by themselves? Remember, look at the proof in the numbers, not the feeling. For example ‘I feel they will be out of their depth when managing this large prospect’ doesn’t translate into evidence. 

“Delegation requires the willingness to pay for short term failures to gain long term competency.’’ -Dave Ramsey

2. Make delegation successful with effective communication

Successful delegation starts with excellent communication from both parties. As a leader, you must be clear and concise in how you explain what needs to be done to your employees. Similarly, it would help if you also created an environment that gives your team a chance to ask questions, clarify points and process and brainstorm specific solutions. 

A useful question to ask yourself before the delegation is ‘What does finished look like?’ You’ll need to clarify your expectations and delegate accordingly ahead of time. 

If you’re just getting started with delegation, ensuring that the communication lines are open while the work is being done can be helpful for you and your team member. Decide what you need to know, want to know, and what’s nice to see as you scale your teams and leverage your management team to inform you of this at scale. 

3. Start small. Measure. Delegate more

As a leader, you need to focus on your own time. Your time and energy is your most significant contributor to success within your business, so what are you spending your time and energy on? What can you start delegating today that doesn’t fall into the category of your biggest priorities? Starting small helps you understand how to improve delegation moving forward, which ensures you and your team are set up for success in making the right things happen. 

It’s essential to take time to reflect on the success of your delegation. ‘What do you need to improve on to make it easier on your team to work on prospects that you hand over to them?’ Reflections should include measurable data too of course. If your performance management and KPI processes are structured well and reviewed regularly, it should be easier for you to identify what is and what isn’t working. 

About Shauna

Shauna Moran, the founder of Operate Remote helps remote and multi-location companies improve employee performance and engagement. Shauna is an accredited coach & consultant and emotional intelligence practitioner. Shauna has unique experience in building and managing remote teams on an international level, coupled with her academic background in Psychology, Innovation Management and extensive research in remote working strategies. Shauna's mission is to empower companies and leaders to create a productive, highly-functional, effective and engaged workforce, regardless of the locations that they can scale well into the future, with confidence. Book some time to speak with Shauna or contact her on [email protected]