Pam writes and speaks career, life, and success issues. Pam's books include: The Eleven Commandments of Wildly Successful Women, The Twelfth Commandment of Wildly Successful Women, and Leadership Secrets of Elizabeth I. She also co-authored Under the Carmel Valley Sun with her husband, Fred. They write and speak about remodeling and relationships.
“Not knowing when how and when to delegate can sabotage your efforts to achieve success.” Anonymous
One of the biggest mistakes that people of all levels in a company, and especially entrepreneurs, make is that of trying to do and be everything themselves. Sometimes they are working on their own and believe there is no one else to do it, or do it as well as they can. Sometimes they simply haven’t learned how to structure work processes and procedures so they can share responsibility. Not knowing how to delegate well can be the kiss of death to your energy and enthusiasm for what you do. Good delegating can let you concentrate on what you do best. On the other hand, it is equally important to avoid only delegating what you don’t want to do, just because you don’t like doing it.
Whether you work for a corporation or you run your own business it’s especially important to delegate effectively. To help you do that, remember the three W’s of delegating: when, what and to whom.
·When you should delegate depends on how you’re spending your time on the needs of your company. If you can’t get out to meet potential clients because you have to write orders or monitor every detail of every report that comes out of your department, you are shortchanging your business. When the work you’ve identified as central to your success is not getting done, delegate. You can hire temporary help if you aren’t ready to hire permanent employees.
·What you should delegate is relatively simple to determine. Identify the tasks that are easiest for someone else to do, retaining those that you enjoy most and that contribute most to your success. Many delegate the paperwork that bores them—often financial statements, orders and payments. Be very sure, however, that you delegate only what you understand yourself. Delegating repetitive jobs often works best because you can tell the employee exactly what you expect. If you believe that no one can do what you do as well as you, you may be right, but it will slow you down. Good delegators know that others may be able to do certain jobs as well as they can or even better.
·To Whom you should delegate is a question that is easier to answer in theory than it is to put into practice. Find competent people and make your expectations and requirements very clear. You need to be clear about how much of the project you are delegating, when it is to be accomplished, and whom the person should contact if she needs help if it’s not you. Don’t assume people know what you mean or when you want it. Don’t assume the person to whom you delegate cares for the project as much as you do, or pays the same amount of attention to it as you would do. Keep in mind that they may approach things differently, but that it may not be less effective than your way.
The best way to provide an entrepreneurial atmosphere in a business is to delegate effectively by describing what needs to be done, showing employees how it was done before, and suggesting that they figure out a better way to suit them. Keep in touch with their progress, but stay out of their way.