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  • Writer's pictureHamish Mackenzie

Drop the delegation excuses

Whether you’re a solopreneur or the CEO of a Fortune 500 firm, delegation is key to your sanity, as well as your success. And yet, too many of us are making excuses to justify not doing enough of it. Why is that, and what can we do to change it?

Here’s what I have picked up through a combination of experience and reading around the subject (with a special mention to Darren Hardy, Editor of Success Magazine).

Excuse 1: “I don’t have time to explain this to someone else – it’s quicker to do it myself.”

Why this is wrong: It may well be quicker this one time. But if this is a task you have to do often and/or which is important, you will be losing a lot more time in the future.

What to do about it: Sacrifice a relatively small amount of time now to delegate the task properly. Once someone can perform the task efficiently and effectively, the long-term compound effect in time you free up will be enormous.

Excuse 2: “The last time I delegated something important, they screwed it up.”

Why this is wrong: If they screwed it up, the chances are it was probably your fault, not theirs. Think about it. Did you give them a thorough and detailed briefing? Or did you hurriedly throw a task at someone because you were in a rush? Garbage in, garbage out.

What to do about it: First choose someone who you know is capable enough and cares enough to do a good job. Second, explain why the task is important, not just what it is. Third, make sure they have all the tools they need or that they know where to find them. Finally, explain exactly how success or failure will be measured and agree checkpoints and deadlines.

Excuse 3: “They won’t do it exactly how I would do it.”

Why this is wrong: Probably not. But why would you care about the method? It’s the result that counts.

What to do about it: Focus on the result, not how they get there, as long as the relevant deadlines, quality standards, and ethical guidelines are adhered to.

Excuse 4: “I need to steer this ship hands on to ensure we don’t hit the rocks.”

Why this is wrong: If you believe your business can’t survive without a lot of operational input from you, you are either extremely arrogant, or you’ve hired a lot of the wrong people.

What to do about it: Your main role as a CEO should be as an evangelist – your firm’s best sales person. If you have the right team behind you, fulfilling this role well will have a much bigger impact on the performance of your business than anything you can do operationally. And you’ll find you have a lot more control over your time too.

Need more help with delegation? Let’s talk about it.

Send an email to hm@hamishmackenzie now, or book a free 30-minute consultation.

Copyright Hamish Mackenzie, 2020


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