I feel certain that my first words as a baby were “I can do it myself.” Never mind the endearing “Mom” or “Dad” that delights and tickles most new parents! If I didn’t actually speak it, I was thinking it. My independent nature showed up early and often!
There are some positives to being independent. I am a self-starter, and a go-getter, and rarely lack motivation. It prompts me to learn new things, take responsibility for things and strive to accomplish things.
Unfortunately, there is also a down side. Delegating does not come easy! It isn’t just the independent thing that plays into this for me. I actually enjoy doing a wide variety of tasks. Why let someone else do something for you that you delight in?
Why? Because people don’t enjoy the company of a crazy loon! Eventually the ambition of my independent soul entices me to a place of being overwhelmed. It will also ultimately prevent me from reaching my goals.
Here are five reasons why I want to become a better delegator:
1. More than just having big goals, I want to reach my goals!
Continuing on my current path will surely end in a crash. It is not sustainable for the long haul! More than doing everything, I want to be successful doing what I do – coaching and writing!
2. Life is short – I want to enjoy the journey
The overwhelmed version of me is not fun for me, or anyone else. I want to live life at a pace that allows me savor its richness and experience it deeply. I want to enjoy the treasured people in my life – both family and friends!
3. It saves time and money
One of the big deterrents to delegating is the up-front time it takes. It is easy to overlook the many ways it is costing me dearly. Whether you are a parent teaching a child how to do a new skill or chore or a leader handing off an important area of responsibility, the time it takes to teach and mentor those things now will pay off handsomely down the road. I need to keep a long term, big picture perspective.
4. Delegating creates opportunities for others to learn and grow
The tasks I am hanging on to are robbing others of the chance to learn and grow. I am actually holding them back in ways that are hurting me. Allowing my children, those who work for me, or those who serve under me to develop and grow only enhances and expands the potential for all of us. That’s powerful!
5. It allows me to focus on less
The saying “less is more” is spot on. I am a limited being. I have a limited capacity. I can try to pretend otherwise, but that doesn’t change it. My effort in fewer directions has a bigger impact than my effort divided in numerous directions. What’s the point of working to exhaustion with not much to show for it? I need less on my plate!
6. It forces me to trust God
Letting others do things requires trust! Not just trust in those other people, but trust that God will work out the details when things don’t go according to plan. There will be mistakes. Those I delegate to will not do things “my way” and I will have to let go of some control – control I only think I have anyway. Depending on God in a greater way is a good thing, a very necessary thing!
How about you? How naturally do you delegate? How would your life and leadership be different if you did a little more delegating? What’s your first step towards embracing the art of delegating?