“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
It’s a phrase we’ve all heard before.
On occasion, we may have internally thought it ourselves.
The truth is there indeed will be times when you are truly the best person to accomplish a particular task. However, embracing this mindset long term is a sure fire way to create bottlenecks and produce burnout.
You must realize that there is a direct correlation between the amount of burnout you experience and your level of leadership!
Burnout is your body’s method of alerting you that you’ve taken on too much and haven’t effectively worked through others.
If you consistently feel like you’re the only person able to do a set of particular tasks the “right” way, your feelings are a clear indication that you’re currently leading at a low level.
But there’s good news:
You don’t have to tolerate burnout to achieve meaningful results!!
There is a better way!
It is indeed possible to accomplish MORE in LESS time and still keep your sanity in the process. But to do so, you and those you lead must understand and effectively practice a small word that has a huge impact…
Truly effective leaders view any task done on a routine basis as a possible candidate for delegation.
They don’t just simply talk a good game when it comes to delegation…they live it!
As a leader, you too must embrace this crucial skill in order to maximize your leadership potential to its full capacity.
To assist you in doing just that, I’ve outlined six steps below that I believe can help you to achieve greater leadership success through delegation:
1. Determine your desired final outcome. What is it that you want to see accomplished with this task? How will you know when you’ve crossed the finish line? When do you want the task to be completed? Before you can begin, you must first determine what your picture of success looks like (for more details on this step, click here to read a previous post written on this topic).
2. Outline the process of completing the task. Once you’ve determined the final outcome, write out all of the necessary steps to complete the task that you plan to delegate. Be sure to list them in the sequential order in which they need to be completed. If applicable, add any screenshots for steps you feel may require a visual.
Next, select a program that you will use to capture your outlined process. There are many popular tools that you can use for free such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. My favorite is a premium software tool called SweetProcess. This software transforms any process into a beautiful list of steps that anyone can easily follow. Check it out for free by signing up for a free trial on their website. (NOTE: To see an example of a task outlined using SweetProcess, click here to view the steps that author Michael Hyatt takes when he prepares to do a Skype interview).
3. Select a trainee for the outlined process. While this step usually takes the longest upfront, the investment of time made pays huge dividends in the long run. Talk through the outlined process. Communicate the desired outcomes and timeframes. Ensure the trainee has an initial level of clarity on the outlined process before moving on to the next step.
4. Allow them to optimize the process. It’s highly likely that your process, no matter how successful it may have been in the past, can still be improved. Give the trainee the flexibility to make whatever changes they believe will optimize the process, keeping the desired outcomes in mind. Providing this kind of flexibility ensures the door to innovation and creativity stays open and it keeps your processes and systems from becoming stale over time.
5. Provide the necessary resources to complete the task. Determine what resources are needed in order to successfully complete the delegated task. Seek input from the trainee regarding their assessment of what’s needed. Ensure you provide what is determined to be necessary. If you cannot, you must realign the desired outcomes to fit the level of resources you are able to provide at the time.
6. Recognize a job well done. Whenever a task is completed or the process is optimized, be sure to recognize and celebrate these accomplishments before moving on to the next project. Visibility of what’s being completed is therefore critical to recognizing high performance.
One great online tool that can help provide you with visibility of your team’s accomplishments is IDONETHIS. IDONETHIS allows team members to post their daily accomplishments all in one collaborative environment. Its format is very similar to Facebook (including statuses, comments, likes, etc), therefore making it much easier to understand and use.
As you embrace delegation over time, you will find that more time will be freed up for yourself and you will feel a greater sense of satisfaction once you’ve reached your final destination.
What other advice would you give regarding effective delegation? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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