Delegating Tasks: 3 Pitfalls To Avoid

Delegating tasks to the teammates and coworkers around you is more difficult than it may seem. There are a lot of mindset challenges that business owners have to face, but it must be done in order for the business to grow and the owner to maintain his sanity. Delegating can (and should) be a powerful tool, but there are three issues that always stand in the way of implementation.

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1. Believing Abdicating Means Delegating

PAD7781Most employers and managers believe that simply throwing a task or objective to a subordinate means that you are “delegating.” Although this my work out well for you at first, there are severe consequences for repeating this type of action that will eventually leave you stressed and frustrated. Abdication in a business looks like this: A restaurant owner (let’s call him Bob) has ten things on his plate: cooking, cleaning, marketing, you get the idea. He is so stressed out and ready to give up from running the business and handling all of the complaints (customers are beginning to complain because of everything that is falling through Bob’s fingers). But before he does, he hires a teenager that has just graduated high school to give him a hand as a last ditch effort. This new kid proceeds to tell Bob that he has done some cooking in his day, and that the recipes on the menu look easy enough. Bob, excited to hear this good news, leaves it to beaver while he takes care of more important matters. The first few months go great, and everyone is happy with how the business is running. The business owner then decides that it is time to add more responsibilities to this kid, one by one adding tasks that the owner no longer has to think about.
Life is good for Bob, right? Well yes, until a few months later when complaints start rolling in again, customers yelling at Bob telling him that their food was burnt, the floors are a mess, and no one is around to refill their Pepsi! What happened to this kid? He was supposed to be the lifesaver for Bob and his business!

2. Superman Syndrome

3355218-8906915972-LoislThe next problem owners face with delegation is the act itself…. delegating! They look at certain tasks and say, “I have always done this and I can do it better than anyone else!” This is almost never the case, but even if it is, there is a good chance you should still let someone else do it. As an owner or manager, you have to be the BEST at doing what only you can do, so why would you threaten this by messing around with something that an entry-level employee can take care of? Quick rule of thumb: If you can hire someone to do something %80 as well as you can, do it. Hanging on to the superman mentality will do you no good in the long run, and Lois Lane will not be there to report on your heroic deeds.

3. Lack Of Trust

At the heart of the majority of delegation problems lies the issue of trust. I understand that your business is your baby, and it cannot be entrusted to “just anyone.” You want your business to succeed at any cost, even if it means doing it yourself or even (whisper) micromanaging. You have to have your head wrapped around every minuet detail, even if it is taking out the trash. The irony about all of this, though, is that a business cannot succeed for long without a good culture filled with…trust. Trust starts at the top, and this person ultimately decides the temperature of the team.

It may be time to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are a victim to any of the pitfalls. Are you abdicating to one of your employees? Do you mow the grass and then decide which business acquisition to make? Do you trust those around you and build them up for success? Be honest with yourself, and if you struggle with any of this then begin building an action plan to change the course that you are currently on. It may take the help of a trusted friend or business coach to be honest with you, so seek someone out that has your best interest in mind. Delegation works, so start using it!

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