6 Reasons to Face the Delegating Dilemma

Delegate game pieces

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 was evident from the start!

There are some perks to being independent. I am a self-starter, a go-getter, and rarely lack motivation. It prompts me to learn new things, tackle challenges, and get things done!

Unfortunately, there is also a down side. Delegating does not come easily! It isn’t just being independent that keeps me from delegating, I actually enjoy doing a wide variety of tasks. Why let someone else do something for you that you actually take delight in?

Why? Because like you, I have my limits. I can’t do it all – even if I want to. And people don’t enjoy being in the company of a stress monster! And that’s what I become when I take on more and more.

Here are five reasons why I want to become a better at delegating:

1. I want to reach my goals!

My goals are  big goals! I want to reach those big goals! Attempting to do it all diminishes my ability to reach my goals.

If I keep adding more to what I am doing, it will eventually end in a disastrous crash. It’s not sustainable for the long haul! More than doing everything, I want to be successful doing what I do – coaching and writing, well!

2. Life is short – I want to enjoy the journey

The overwhelmed version of me is not pretty! It’s not much fun for others either. I want to live life at a pace that allows me savor its richness and experience each moment deeply. I want to enjoy time connecting with 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, while overlooking the many ways it’s costing me dearly.

Whether you are a parent teaching a child a new chore or a leader handing off an important area of responsibility, the time it takes to train and hand off those tasks will pay off handsomely down the road. I need to keep a long term, big picture perspective.

And yes, it might cost a little if I pay someone to take over certain responsibilities, but it will free me up to do what I do best. In the end, I will be ahead and able to successfully accomplish more.

4. Others to learn and grow

When I hang on to tasks, I am robbing others of the chance to learn and grow. I am actually holding them back in ways that are hurting me. Allowing those who work for me, or those who serve under me, to cultivate new areas of expertise 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. My capacity is limited. I can try to pretend otherwise, but that doesn’t make it so. My effort in fewer directions has a more significant impact than my effort divided in numerous directions. What’s the point of stretching myself so thin especially when it only dilutes my efforts? I want to make a significant impact and to do that it demands focus!

6. Trusting God is a must!

Letting go and handing off tasks requires trust! Not just trust in other people, but trust that God will work out the details even if 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!

I know I’m not alone when it comes to the delegating dilemma.

I worked with a gal I’ll call Christy. She knew the ins and outs of her job, there was no arguing that. I’m certain her wide range of knowledge and strong work ethic contributed to her being promoted to manager. As is frequently the case, excelling at a job does not always translate into overseeing well. Those roles utilize different skill sets. In spite of the new responsibilities, Christy continued to do many of the tasks she was responsible for before her promotion. She found it difficult to set clear expectations and give feedback, which are crucial components of delegation. Needless to say, her role as manager suffered as a result.

If Christy had been willing to stretch, work on her communication skills, and share her wealth of knowledge with those under her, imagine the difference it would’ve made! Not only would she have expanded her skills, but she would have also multiplied herself!

Carson is another leader who is responsible for overseeing a sizeable organization that readily admits he’s a control freak, and that he actively resists delegating. His quirky personality and authenticity are very appealing and as a result attracting capable people isn’t hard.

Unfortunately, unless Carson embraces the value of delegating, he will ultimately spread himself too thin and deprive others of being able to contribute in valuable ways. When people can’t contribute in significant ways they move on. That leads to turnover that will keep the organization from growing and thriving.

As I’ve already admitted, delegating can be tough, yet delegating is not impossible. And like anything, the more you do it the easier it gets!

How difficult is it for you to delegate?

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Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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