Why You’re Delegating Wrong and How to do it Right!
When I became a doctor and started practicing, I knew I wanted to own my own business one day. In 2002 I took the leap and opened up my first practice. Soon, I found out that the basic business principles I had learned from my father wouldn’t suffice. I was literally bombarded with not only the struggles of keeping up with excellent patient care while juggling a huge patient caseload, but I was also having to deal with managing marketing and sales, client relations, programs, technical issues, legal contracts, finances, marketing, etc. I was working myself to the bone.
There were many times that I thought to myself, “how am I going to be able to do all this on my own?” I struggled with the mentality of hiring additional help and delegating activities. What I realized, however, was that it was absolutely necessary to delegate if I wanted my practice to survive.
As I expanded my practice, I had to learn to communicate, confide-in, and trust personnel in different states by telephone. This form of delegation was at an entirely different level than I was used to. If I hadn’t understood the importance of delegation and leveraging my time, I never would have been able to create an empire. My original belief that I must do all the work was a recipe for failure. The art of delegation was my turning point.
Are You Avoiding Delegation?
Delegation wasn’t an easy thing for me to learn. But I recognized some of the mental blocks and phrases we tell ourselves that hinder our ability to delegate.
Do you ever think any of the following?
“I don’t trust others.”
“No one can do it better than me.”
“I don’t have time to train someone.”
These phrases are crutches that we lean on to hold ourselves back. It’s important that we as business owners and managers value our time and abilities differently than we do our employees’ time and abilities. We must be able to make the most of their time as well as our own. You will devalue yourself and your company by doing mundane tasks that you can hire someone to handle or contract out for much less than your time is worth.
Here’s an example: If you are spending five hours a week running errands like going to the grocery store, picking up your clothes at the cleaners, cleaning the house, etc., you can get someone to do that for $15 per hour. Let’s say that you are billing out $100 per hour for your time. If you are running those errands yourself, you lost $500 that week versus paying out $75. Not having to go through the brain damage of doing it yourself becomes the added bonus.
It’s Harder Than It Looks…Or is it?
Some may say that delegating work to employees is harder than you think. They often believe that there are certain jobs or tasks that only the owner, CEO, or manager can do. To some extent, this is correct, but for the most part, it is just an excuse, lack of knowledge, or distrust in his or her employees.
We hire employees to perform tasks that align with their abilities. If you find yourself micromanaging your employees or doing their jobs for them, why would you hire them in the first place? Your role, instead, is to manage and lead the employees to perform their jobs in a passionate and effective way.
Management vs. Leadership
Management and leadership are critical elements and must be understood to expect success with any task. You must manage the project at stake by leading the employees along the way. The main difference between someone who manages and someone who leads is that a manager tells people what to do and how to do it, where the leader has the ability and duty to inspire those to which they are delegating.
If employees do not feel inspired, how do you think they will react to just being told what to do? Sure, the task that you delegate to them is their job but in all reality, you may not get the quality end product if they don’t feel inspired to perform it.
The way to combine these two elements is by giving your employees autonomy and being generous with praise when they do well and take initiative. Let them shine at the things they do best, then, when it’s time to delegate a new task, they will welcome the new task rather than become weighed down by expectation. Let your employees work for the good of the company, not for the approval of their superiors.
Are You Ready To Lead?
Now, take a step back. In your business, is it just you? Are you managing marketing and sales, client relations, products and programs, technical issues, legal issues, financial issues, marketing and sales, etc.? Are your employees inspired and thriving or are they getting through the day to earn a paycheck? If you’re floundering under the weight of your company, start making some changes and sharing responsibilities with your employees. You’ll be amazed at the results when you loosen your hold on the reigns!