Delegation is an indispensible skill for any business owner. With only 24 hours a day to run an entire company, the better your business is, the harder it becomes to do it all yourself.
However, delegation isn’t simply a matter of passing work off to other people. How can you be sure that the work will actually be done? Are the people you work with really reliable enough to do it properly?
Many business owners who struggle with delegating are plagued by these questions, and this uncertainty often means that the work they had delegated will simply end up back on their desk for them to do (or redo) later.
Usually these unsuccessful delegations have a common problem at their core: They aren’t delegating the right tasks.
Here’s a quick question for you:
You have two tasks that need to be done, but you only have time to do one of them yourself. Which of the tasks do you delegate to someone else?
A) The task that you have never done before and don’t really understand.
B) The task that you already have experience with and know how to do well.
Many people assume that delegation exists so that the owner can pass off the tasks they don’t like or don’t understand, and so option A seems to be the obvious choice.
Here’s the flaw in that reasoning: If you don’t understand the task or don’t know how to do it well yourself, how are you supposed to know if the person you delegated to is doing it properly?
People who choose A often end up failing to check up on the task, blindly assuming that the other person will figure it out. Or, if they do check on progress, it will almost always be painfully superficial, because they have no way of truly verifying the answer.
The person you delegated to may say “oh yeah, everything’s fine because of x, y, and z”, but if you have no idea what x,y, and z mean, that update means nothing to you. For all you know it should be a, b, c, not x,y,z, and at the end of the month you’ll find yourself landed with a crisis you didn’t know was coming!
That is why the correct answer is B. By delegating tasks you already understand and know well, you can quickly and easily identify the warning signs if something starts going wrong.
Your job as the business owner is to pioneer into the unknown, master it, and then (and only then) pass it on to someone else so that you can concentrate on the next innovation.
Did this information surprise you? Perhaps there are other aspects of delegation you’ve never considered before.
You can find out now by clicking one of the links below to download our FREE ebook: Learn to Delegate in 1 Hour.