While most of us know a successful delegator or two, that doesn’t make it any easier for us to become one. The illusion of losing control when we offload tasks to others can be a pretty compelling reason not to go there. Besides, how can we expect our employees, our customers, and that loan officer down at the bank to continue to take us seriously as entrepreneurs if we’re not trying to accomplish the work of at least half a dozen people at once?
As a reluctant delegator, it can sometimes be helpful to ask yourself a couple of pertinent questions:
- What time-consuming duties am I performing right now that I really don’t need to be doing?
- What truly fabulous goals could I be pursuing instead?
If you’re honest, your answers may surprise and even enlighten you - but that still doesn’t mean you have to like the path they lead you down.
Sure, delegation has its upside. But if you remember Newton’s law about every action having an equal and opposite reaction, you’ll understand that every single one of the benefits attached to delegation comes with a rather seedy cohort in tow. In fact, the entire concept seems to have evolved with one firm objective in mind: to deprive us of our entrepreneurial right to procrastinate.
There’s no denying that delegating certain tasks is a smart business decision that can end up paying for itself many times over. Whether you hire a call center to take on your customer service, or make use of professional outsourced bookkeeping services, the valuable time you’ll save is bound to lead to some sort of bounty.
But for many of us, that’s where the real dilemma begins. Do we use the money we’ve saved to bonus our employees? Take a well-earned holiday? Upgrade the computers? Facing tough decisions like these are often reason enough for many small business owners to keep their multiple hats perched firmly on their heads.
No More Distractions
Just when you think it’s safe to lower your guard … you slip up and let yourself get lured in by the thought of all those savings. Now you’re really on the hook. Taking the plunge and deciding to delegate work has suddenly left you with extra time on your hands – time you used to squander effortlessly on all those distracting tasks that are now being performed by somebody else. So where does that leave you? Right on target to finally get all those promising, profit-building strategies you’ve been thinking about off the ground. Uh oh.
Demise of the Go-To Guru
Nothing adds insult to injury more than when the outsourced experts you hired to help you end up working faster and with far greater precision than you ever did. It doesn’t matter if it’s because they’ve got the necessary time and focus to deal with what was just one of your many daily tasks. It doesn’t even matter if it’s because they’ve got an entire team of employees dedicated to the management and performance of said task. People have stopped trailing you down the office hallway to ask your advice, pester you with questions, and ultimately distract you yet again from those elusive profit-building schemes. What’s up with that?
Staring Down Success
It’s been shown that effective delegation is crucial to business success. So the real question is, what are you more afraid of – letting go of the reins and the urge to deal with every detail yourself, or the huge success that can finally be yours once you’re able to focus on growth initiatives like planning, marketing, and meeting with potential clients? Hmmm… the jury may still be out on that one.
The fear of success is a very real thing that’s often prompted by the creation of change and the act of moving forward. And unfortunately, as luck would have it, the only way to get rid of such a fear is to go out and meet it. In other words, creating and sustaining success is essential for defeating what’s holding you back in the first place. Go figure.
A Final Word …
Making the decision to focus on your core competencies while letting everyone else handle the rest is always a difficult move, and in many cases may simply go against everything you ever believed about what it means to be an entrepreneur.
At the same time, the true power of delegation lies in its ability to mitigate stress and to restore some of the personal balance that’s probably been missing from your life. And in the end, that’s what’s most likely to help both you and your business accomplish more of what you want.