As executive coaches, we hear leaders frequently expressing frustration over feeling overwhelmed and/or not having enough time to get important tasks done. To compensate, they work long days and/or on the weekends to get caught up…or less behind. Is that you? Can you relate to this delegation trap?
Delegation Trap Reasons:
We find they are often working on the wrong stuff. What’s the wrong stuff? Stuff that isn’t necessarily at their pay grade. As a result, they don’t have time to work on the right stuff. Why? Often, they don’t delegate. Why? Here’s what our clients say…and the literature supports:
- “I like doing it.”
- “I know how to do it.”
- “No one else can do it as fast as me.”
- “No one else is trained to do it, and I don’t have time to train them.”
What they don’t say is that these other tasks are easier than the harder stuff, like strategic thinking, strategic planning, initiating needed change, dealing with problem employees, and the list goes on.
Delegation often begins with a mindset shift that sounds like this, “I am going to change the way I think about what I work on.” This means some things you like to do, you need to stop—today. Who is the best person to delegate the task? Call them into your office and follow this outline to delegate the task.
- Introduce the topic
- Describe the task
- Sell the delegation
- Gain agreement
- Discuss the skills needed
- Agree to the method of monitoring
- Agree to next
As you delegate and/or stop doing this stuff, you will have more time to do the most important stuff…and have better work/life balance.
Like many of our clients, you too can have success avoiding the delegation trap.
 Martin Stanley, “Why Do We Find it Hard to Delegate?” Contract Management, March 2011, 12.