Many midsized companies begin with a solo entrepreneur or a very small team. At that size, each employee wears multiple hats and becomes accustomed to performing a wide range of tasks. However, as a company grows and additional people are brought on, those roles are divvied out.
However, some leaders continue to cling to certain responsibilities rather than passing them on to their team. Trying to do it all inevitably leads to frustration and burnout for both the entrepreneur and the qualified staff. To be effective, leaders must learn to routinely delegate tasks to qualified people so they can remain focused on guiding the company and ensuring there is a healthy ability to grow.
For example, imagine that you are on road trip with a group of friends and need to figure out where to stop for lunch. The driver shouldn’t be the one searching for restaurants and getting directions. Doing so would take their attention off the road or require interrupting the trip to pull over. By delegating those tasks to a passenger, the driver can keep everyone moving forward.
In this article, we will discuss why many leaders find it difficult to share responsibilities and how you can overcome those challenges. Following these tips on how to delegate to your team will help you – and your company – achieve more.
Top Signs That You’re Hoarding Work
Could you benefit from rethinking your workload? If any of these signs feel familiar, you may not be delegating enough to your staff:
- Routine tasks take up a significant portion of your day. As a leader, you shouldn’t be spending much time on repetitive or menial activities.
- You are feeling the negative effects of stress. If you frequently experience symptoms such as irritability, insomnia and difficulty concentrating, you may be trying to do too much.
- Some important tasks go undone. Not having time to work toward your key objectives can be a signal that you have too many items on your to-do list.
Why Leaders Struggle To Delegate
While entrepreneurs and other business leaders may agree that teamwork is critical to their success, many still have difficulty letting others take on more responsibility. They may have many reasons for not delegating, including:
- Believing it is easier to do the task themselves. Some people believe that they can do an activity better or faster alone. While this may be true initially, your team members’ skills won’t improve if they are never given the opportunity.
- Wanting the credit for the work. Almost everyone likes to feel recognized for the work they do, and some tasks receive more acknowledgment than others. However, trying to do everything alone will ultimately result in a leader – and their company – being less successful.
- Feeling that they don’t have enough time to shift tasks. Remember the saying that “it takes money to make money”? That’s definitely true of time. An upfront investment in identifying, training and supervising someone else will pay off in the long run.
- Being reluctant to trust someone else with the work. Leaders invest a lot of their time, effort and energy into building a business. It can be difficult to let someone else take over some of those responsibilities. While it means giving up a little control, effective leaders must learn to depend on their team.
- Enjoying doing the task. Everyone has parts of their job that they like and dislike. Sometimes the best interests of the company mean delegating a task that we love. By letting go of some responsibilities, you give your team – and yourself – room to grow.
- Not knowing how to delegate. If you have spent years focusing on checking items off your to-do list, you may not know how to identify someone else to do the work or how to train that person. People management is a valuable skill that all leaders need to learn to succeed.
Why Delegating Is Essential
Getting support from your team benefits you, your company and your staff. Here are a few of the positive changes leaders experience when they delegate effectively:
- Take a break from the busy work. Imagine if you didn’t always have something else to respond to, schedule, complete or review. Delegating helps leaders create space to breathe, think and create.
- Leaders have more time to strategize and plan. By shifting some of your day-to-day responsibilities, you will have more brainpower to devote to leading your company. Moving forward requires creating opportunities to reflect and be intentional about the direction your company is heading.
- Provide new avenues to develop your team’s skills and confidence. When you empower your team members to learn and grow, your company will benefit from a team that is capable of conquering new challenges.
- Grow your business by incorporating new perspectives. Everyone brings their own unique background to work. Giving your team more responsibilities allows your company to leverage different skill sets and ways of working.