Maximize Your Effectiveness in Business: Delegate More

By Generational Equity


Business leaders often fall into the trap of perfectionism. Such leaders feel like every task, every procedure, every process must be performed to their exacting standards.

Micromanagement becomes the norm, resulting in an exhausted manager, a demoralized workforce, and a company struggling to grow. In fact, this will not only damage a business short-term, but also impact the ability to exit a company for the optimal value.

How can you outsmart your own perfectionist leanings and learn to delegate responsibilities to your employees?

First, take to heart the advice of a renowned leader, General George S. Patton. He said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

Embrace teamwork

In order to maximize your effectiveness as a business leader, you’ll need to learn to appreciate the power of teamwork. Delegating lets you focus on higher level decision-making because you’re not mired in minutiae from sun-up to sun-down.

In order to successfully delegate and support your team’s ability to help you, you must:

  • Avoid thinking that your way is the only way
  • Remember there can be several paths to the desired results
  • Encourage creative problem solving with positive feedback

Rather than think of delegation as a burden, consider it a force multiplier. The more people on your team who know how to handle various aspects of your business, the more you’ll be able to accomplish.

Avoid fear

As you and your team get used to tasks being delegated, it’s vital you avoid the fear of mistakes. Let’s face it – occasional mistakes are inevitable and everyone makes them as they learn and grow into their job.

You, too, once made mistakes, and will in the future. Don’t discourage your team by filling them with dread because you’ll hound them about small, honest mistakes.

Be available for feedback should issues arise. Take the time to help employees learn how to avoid complications and improve their performance for the future. This lets them know that mistakes aren’t the end of the world and reinforces that this task is their responsibility – something they can own.

Practice makes perfect

Delegation is a skill that requires practice. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempts at delegation don’t go well. In all likelihood, the delegated project wasn’t a complete failure, but simply needs some fine-tuning.

Step back and analyze whether things went completely wrong or could simply have gone better. Remember, an employee getting the job done in a different manner isn’t necessarily wrong. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Was the project too large or too complicated for a first attempt?
  • Were the deadlines reasonable and clearly communicated?
  • Did you adequately communicate background information, benchmarks, timelines and priorities?
  • Were you available to answer questions or to address roadblocks?
  • Did you check in mid-stream to see how things were going?
  • Would another person have been a better fit for the job?

Rather than taking all the work back into your office, let the answers to these questions shape your actions with the next project you delegate.

Delegation will help you build a business that’s more attractive to buyers because you will have the valuable asset of a knowledgeable, confident, well-trained workforce. Your business will no longer be dependent on a single, smart entrepreneur, but an entire team of stellar employees. For prospective buyers, this is a big bonus.

By Jessica Johns Pool.

© 2017 Generational Equity, LLC. All Rights Reserved.