You can’t do it all. Not only that, but you shouldn’t do it all.
For some, that’s a radical statement. Maybe you don’t want to do it all, but you feel like you should. You feel like you must. For others, you might be grinning as you read, muttering to yourself, “Yeah, right.” You might know you can’t do it all and maybe even that you shouldn’t do it all, but you’re just not sure how those statements move from theory to practice. If either of those sounds like you – even remotely – you need to keep reading.
Friends, delegating isn’t just some fancy business buzzword that appears in articles and social media posts. It’s a vital leadership skill. It’s a skill you need to embrace and cultivate. Good leaders know how to share the workload with the team they’ve built.
Let’s Talk About Why
You’ll find plenty of articles giving you tips on how to delegate. We’ve got one for you right here: Give Me a Hand: 7 Steps to Successful Delegation. Understanding how (and when) to delegate is not the same as understanding why you should delegate. If you’re feeling guilt over handing off tasks or you’re not completely sold on the fact that you should, then it’s time you explored the “why” of the matter.
Better Allocate Your Time
Leaders, regardless of your title or your space on the org chart, you’re in the role you’re in for a reason. Your skill set is valued and needed. Delegating tasks you could do but don’t need to do frees up your time to focus on the things that you and only you can do.
For example, as marketing lead your role is tasked with setting the overall strategy for corporate communications. Delegating tasks outside of that scope frees you to invest time in understanding your target market and building a plan that meets your organization’s needs.
Mitigate Burnout Risk
Trying to do it all – and that’s not just your work to-do list, of course – can lead to burnout. You find yourself with more to-do’s than time to do them. Your stress level rises. Your job satisfaction drops. In other words, you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by holding on to all the tasks you could be doing. Identify the ones you could hand off, and hand them off. Sharing the workload, especially the tasks that don’t need your direct attention, isn’t an option.
Empower Your Team
You’ve got a great team. Use them. Trust the potential you saw in them when you hired them. Trust their skills. Give them the chance to stretch and shine. Delegating tasks to your team can help build trust and make your team members feel valued. That’s a win for them and for your company.
Your job as a leader is about more than simply making lists of tasks that must be done and making sure someone does them. Good leaders aim to develop future leaders. That means your role is to help your team develop their skills and grow in their abilities. Delegating gives your team members a chance to develop their skills and their confidence.
If you’re in a leadership role, you’ve likely got some measure of experience under your belt. You’ve “been there, done that” once if not more. And that’s awesome. Your experience is part of what makes you a great leader. However, it can also narrow your approach to what has worked for you in the past. That’s not a bad thing, as we said. Sometimes, however, a fresh approach can be beneficial and delegating is one way to infuse new ideas and fresh energy to the mix.
Your team may have different past experiences that influence their approach to problem solving or they may be meeting a specific challenge head-on for the first time. Either way, inviting others to the table to manage tasks or participate in group work can open the door to creative solutions that benefit your business in the long run.
Job Satisfaction and Future Growth
As employees, we want to be valued. We want to be respected. We want to feel like we’re contributed to the overall success of our organization. Delegating tasks helps foster an environment that supports those desires. In addition, it helps build future leaders. There will be a point in the future where you are ready for a promotion or a new challenge and the leadership role you hold today needs to be filled. Delegating and nurturing skill development within your team can help grow tomorrow’s leadership teams.