Many people who are growing their businesses have some understanding that they should be “delegating.”
Maybe you’ve read The 4-Hour Work Week. Maybe you’ve read The E Myth. Maybe you’ve heard some dork on Instagram talking about how you need to work “on” your business not “in” your business (which is from The E Myth anyway)
While delegation is, in fact, key to any sort of growing business, it’s rarely as simple as people think it is.
When you delegate something, it’s not like you suddenly have massive amounts of free mental bandwidth with which to create new ideas, work on more important tasks or engage in excessive leisure.
Instead, even though you are no longer responsible for explicitly completing your taks, you are now responsible the myriad of creative ways that your employees will find to do the task incorrectly or otherwise miss the point.
It’s insufficient to simply have a standard operating procedure and to assign the task to someone. Instead you must:
•Have mastery of the task yourself
•Have a documented and repeatable procedure to complete the task
•Document regular troubleshooting issues and contingency plans for when the task goes wrong
•Develop some sort of quality assurance process for the task to make sure that it is not just being completed – but that is being completed at an acceptable level
•Ensure that it’s not just the “letter of the law” that is being followed, but also the spirit
•Give regular performance communication and feedback to the person to whom you’ve delegated the task
In many cases, delegating the task is in fact more work than simply doing it yourself – at least for several weeks (if not months).
However, once you’ve made it past the tipping point, you will find that employees will start to offer insight about better ways to do things.
Through delegation, you are also creating opportunities for employees to be engaged and learn. So, even if it is a hassle to attempt to delegate and have things constantly go wrong, you are also increasing the buy-in and the teamwork of the organization by spreading responsibility amongst multiple individuals.