How Do You Know When It’s Time to Delegate? Find Out in Three Steps
Many executives pride themselves on being able to do everything. However, at a certain point, you need to be able to delegate in order to give your company the capacity it needs to grow.
So how do you know when it’s time to delegate some of the tasks on your plate? These three steps will get you started.
Step #1: Determine Your 100%
Your 100% is the maximum number of hours you want to work in a week, and still remain balanced in your life. This is where the rubber meets the road in delegation.
So many executives and business owners feel like they’re rugged individualists who need to work 100-hour work weeks. We don’t believe that’s the case.
Once you figure out your answer to your 100%, that’s going to give you a framework you can use for delegating. It might be 60 hours a week. It might be 40 hours a week. In some cases, it might be 30-hours a week.
Whatever it is, it’s up to you to own it during this process.
Step #2: List Everything You Do in a Week
We often get pushback on this step. It may seem daunting, or you may feel like you already have a grasp on how you spend your week. However, it’s important that you resist skipping this step.
It can be as simple as taking 30 minutes during one of your Clarity Breaks to focus on this task. Alternatively, you can create a log and record the activities you do during your week. Trust us: You’ll probably be surprised by where you spend your time.
No matter which method you choose, it’s helpful to create some kind of Activity Log with two columns so you can separate the following types of activities:
- Technical Activities: These are things like forecasting, managing work flow, networking, paying invoices, raising capital, financial analysis, scheduling meetings, etc. They’re also the items you’ll be more likely to delegate, so it’s useful to keep them separate.
- Leadership, Management and Accountability Activities: These are items such as performance reviews, coaching team members, training, mediating disputes, creating a presentation to communicate your vision, etc. These are things you’ll likely want to keep under your purview, so it’s important to know how much time these activities take each week.
As you create your Activity Log, make sure to list each and every activity, big or small, as well as how much time you spend on each before you move on to the next step.
Step #3: Determine if You’re Over Capacity
How much time will it take to do all these things—and do them well? "Do well" is the key part of your evaluation. While this calculation may not feel easy, it’s vital. If your answer exceeds your 100%, it’s time to delegate these roles to another team member.
Delegation is a critical ability that all executives need to master. When done effectively, delegation has the power to free you up to flourish in your unique abilities, develop your team’s capabilities and unleash your organization’s potential for growth.
To discover how to hone this skill and explore the five steps for effective delegation, check out Episode #6 of the Growing Leaders, Growing Companies podcast.