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Learning to let go

Delegating means stepping outside of your comfort zone as a business owner and venturing into unchartered territory; trusting other people to do a job as well as you can do it yourself.

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If you’re struggling to let go, ask yourself the following questions:

When should I delegate?

Your real value as the leader or owner in the business – leading, visioning and creating – will soon be compromised if you do not learn the art of delegation. Do a quick calculation of your worth to the business, at an hourly rate, versus what you will pay to outsource the service, to calculate the cost of getting stuck working in the business rather than working on the business.

What tasks can be delegated?

A leader should spend 80% of his time doing transformational work (on the business) and no more than 20% doing transactional work (in the business), unless they are selling their time to clients by the hour (transactional) at a higher rate than any other employee in the company. Anything that can be delegated to someone who is cheaper, faster or better at it than the leader, should be handed over.

The challenge is often not the quality or efficiency of the person delegated to, but rather the time taken to explain, train and empower that person to produce results of an equal or better quality.

How far can I go?

There are various levels of delegation, depending on the person’s experience, status, training and confidence. As a leader it is important to assess the level of responsibility the employee is capable of handling, before delegating a task. As an entrepreneur you have placed yourself in a position of leadership, even though you may not have great leadership skills. Your challenge is to improve their own skill set in order to solicit the best from your team be it your employees, suppliers or clients.

Delegation is a powerful skill that will not only free you up to focus on the vision of the business and the essential decisions you have to make daily, but will also grow your people and give them room to think, take responsibility and become more engaged. It is the key to encouraging employee engagement, and an essential ingredient for success.

*Author: Melody Tomlinson is a full time, practicing Performance Booster coach with a passion for people development. She is a driver by nature and heads up market development for Performance Booster licensees. As a pioneer by nature, she also heads up national and international market development.

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