Monday, September 30, 2013


As a coach I have a lot of dialogue with clients who are struggling to fit in all the things they “have to do”. Usually the subject of delegation comes up. When I ask “what’s stopping you delegating?” a fairly predictable batch of reasons to not delegate comes up:
  • “It’s quicker to do it myself“
  • “I can trust myself to do it properly”
  • “It’s important I stay on top of this”
  • “I don’t have anyone with the right skills to delegate to”
  • “Everyone else is too busy – I can’t ask them to do any more”
Some of these may be familiar to you – I know I count some of them as old friends myself.
Each of the reasons may be true at one level. We understand the perceived short-term cost in energy and time to hire someone or teach someone else to do the task, or to manage them until they can do it to the standards we want.
Typically we do not consider costs of not delegating. What could you do, achieve or enjoy with the time if you did delegate some tasks:
  • Things that are more important or productive in your life?
  • Things you like doing better?
  • Time with people you love?
  • Time to focus on things where you have special talents?
  • Time to think how to grow your business or career?
  • Time to expand your focus and not simply tick boxes?
Our time is a finite resource. As we choose how to spend it we are, in practice, voting for certain things to be in our lives. Each vote can only be made once.
If we continue to do what we have always done and not delegate things over time, we are voting to hold ourselves, and possibly others, in a relatively static place. Ultimately we are voting for “less” in our lives.  If we do decide to start delegating more, despite the initial costs, we are voting for growth and development of ourselves and others. In other words we are voting for “more” in life. 
How to start
I’d like to invite you to think how you could delegate just one thing in the next week or month. Pick something that is relatively boring and un-demanding of your talents and ask yourself why you continue to do this and not find an alternative solution? Is there someone else who is better placed to do this task – either because they have more talent at it or because they have more time than you or because it would help them grow and learn. Then get a clear picture of what you intend to do with the time that’s freed up? How much more could you have?  Persevere and you’ll find that over time your time is increasingly spent on more satisfying things – and things still get done.

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