You need to develop a Delegation Mindset!
Yes, it’s sad but true.
If you’re a leader and you don’t develop a delegation mindset, you’ll never get enough done to extend your influence or grow in your organization.
Most importantly, you’ll be unable to accomplish the things that only YOU can do.
Do you really have a chance if you don’t delegate?
When you look over your shoulder, you probably see the flood waters rising behind … and somewhere deep in your subconscious, you’re reminded that you need help.
It’s dawning on you that as you seek and take on more responsibility, you’ll only have more to do … not less … and you’re going to drown if you can’t get some help.
Then, you start to notice there is a lot of potential help nearby … others are tapping into that talent pool … but you aren’t taking advantage of those resources.
What about only what YOU can do?
You also know that if you don’t make time for the things that only you can do, they won’t get done … by anyone … ever. Read what Ford’s successful CEO says about focusing on only what you can do.
Is a Cheat Sheet enough?
Here’s why you don’t have a Delegation Mindset … yet.
When a project or task is presented … or any assignment or decision-making process comes up … what do you think about?
>When can I do it?
>Where does it belong on my task list?
>What priority should I give it?
>How long will it take me …
I don’t have time to teach someone. I’ll just do it myself.
This is another line of thinking that curses us all …
>By the time I show someone how to do this, I can get it done myself. Why don’t I just go ahead ….”
It’s a classic response … and it may be true in that particular instance.
The flaw in that thinking, though, is that it fails to take into account that you may perform this task over an over and, eventually, you’ll get ahead of the game if you get some help.
Here’s a simple example
[pullquote]If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln[/pullquote]
Imagine some minor, even annoying task that you have to do.
As an example, let’s say it comes 10 times/week, which amounts to something like 500 times/year.
If it took you an hour to show someone how to do it, that would be 50 minutes more than you would need to do it yourself. That’s true … for this one time. Maybe even a second or a third time.
How much time can I really save?
But, for the other 490+ times you have to do that same task this year, you’d SAVE 8 DAYS/YEAR thereafter.
Think of it this way. For each of the other times that someone else now does it, you’d save 10 minutes … 4,990 minutes in total … which is about 83 hours and whether you work 8 hours/day or 10 hours/day, that’s a savings of 8 – 10 days/year.
Get back one full month of your time
And, that’s just for that particular task. Imagine if you could do that 3-4 times for other tasks, projects or assignments?
You’d get back as much as a month of your time.
Take about 3 weeks of it … which is a big part of your year … and get a lot more done that only you can do to really add value to your organization.
What the heck, take the 4th week and head to Maui!
It works for much smaller tasks, too.
Sure, that may be a dramatic example … but even if you only had a single task to do once every week, that’s still a savings of 10 minutes X 52 weeks = 520 minutes or a solid 8 hour day.
And still … that’s just for one little thing you do. A simple 10 minute task.
I’m pretty sure you have some other repetitive assignments that take more time … and occur more frequently.
You can do that math and see the significant savings.
Create Your Own Delegation Mindset – TODAY
It’s fair to say that there are several approaches to this
Some folks find the Eliminate – Automate – Delegate” mindset to be a helpful toolset. If that works for you, great.
It adds a clear focus to getting rid of things you shouldn’t be doing in the first place and automating those that are easy.
For me, though, those first two decisions are almost second nature, and in some ways, much easier to adopt than the delegation requirement.
How do I find someone to help me?
Even so, once you’re past those two options, you’re now faced with the much more difficult task of finding someone else to help out, and there’s a little more to that.
First, you need to identify the best resource and make sure they legitimately have the time to do it.
Then, you need to show them how to do it and make sure you have the tools and reporting processes in place to make sure they keep it going and keep you informed.
Think differently to develop that Delegation Mindset
Any time a project, task or assignment of any kind appears, look at it first with this Delegation Mindset:
> Is there someone else on my team who can handle this more effectively, even if not to 100% done, so I can keep focused on what’s most important to create value in my business?
The key to this is not getting rid of things you don’t want to do, (although we’d probably agree that’s an appealing option).
The essence of this requirement is what I said earlier:
>There are some things that ONLY YOU CAN DO and if you aren’t doing them … completely and on a timely basis … they aren’t getting done.
That’s the greatest danger to your organization … and if your responsibilities stretch broadly across your organization, the threat is even greater.
Here’s the part we tend to forget
When you delegate projects and outcomes, the person receiving the assignment also benefits in ways that are almost impossible to duplicate in any other way.
When you delegate an assignment to someone else, you are helping to develop another leader in your organization.
By providing the resources, experience and expertise they may not otherwise receive, you will help to make those leaders even more effective collaborators and help them build their own skills and expertise.
This time, in just this one area … but over time, in a wide range of activities that will help them become more successful and effective executives … and demonstrably boost your own success and effectiveness.
Build a Great Leadership Team
In another post, we’ll dive more deeply into why this is the THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do as a leader. You may believe there are other more important things which require your focus, but I know I can show you why all roads lead back to this foundation.
For now, let’s agree that Building a Great Leadership Team is among the most important goals of a great leader.
The good news?
Delegating important elements of your mission to your leadership team is one of the most powerful ways you have to develop those strong leaders.
It’s a great teaching method and nothing is more inspirational than proving to developing leaders that you have confidence in them and want to them to grow and succeed.
Adopt a Delegation Mindset today
What could be better than to give yourself the time and focus to do the things that only you can do to advance your organization … and strengthen your leadership team at the same time?
You can do this. The essence of this mantra is very simple and you can apply this simple swing thought every time a project grabs your attention.
Tape it to your mirror or find a place to prominently display it in your workspace:
BE GREAT – DELEGATE