When you start a business, all you want is to grow as big as possible, as fast as possible.
You have the independence, ambition and drive to make it happen. And then it does…
And you have a whole new set of problems, figuring out who to hire, when to hire, how to lead and then try to continue growing the business simultaneously. *cue the overwhelm*
As female founders, we often pride ourselves on being capable and reliable, ready to take on any challenge that comes our way. However, our determination to keep rising can lead to trying to do it all ourselves.
Even after hiring a team we may feel that delegating tasks is a sign of weakness or that it's quicker to handle things on our own. As a result, we find ourselves buried under an overwhelming workload, unable to focus on high-impact activities that drive business growth.
While the desire to maintain control and ensure things get done correctly is understandable, attempting to do it all alone is not a sustainable approach. Delegating tasks effectively is a critical skill for any leader, enabling us to empower our team members, enhance productivity, and achieve greater success. Unfortunately, many female entrepreneurs and leaders struggle with effective delegation, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.
Which is the exact opposite of what we want.
Holding Back on Delegating
As driven leaders, we may find it challenging to let go of control and delegate tasks to others. We may believe that no one can do things as well as we can or fear that relinquishing control will lead to mistakes and subpar results.
What happens when we don’t end up letting go of doing it all is, we end up taking on an overwhelming workload and neglecting important high-level responsibilities.
And taking more time away from ourselves and our families in the continued pursuit of what’s next.
Shying away from taking things off your plate to stay in your zone of genius holds you, your team and the business back from growth.
While it feels like that you are on the field with your team and being a team player, it can be impossible to see when you are buried in the day to day how you are actually being held back… and holding back your team.
The overwhelming workload that is so easily normalized when you are sustaining your growth spreads women thin, leaving them with no time or energy to take care of themselves or show up for their families the way they want to.
With all of the responsibilities on your plate there is no time for higher level strategic thinking which can prevent you from continuing to grow the business and miss opportunities for innovation and expansion.
Not only is not delegating well holding you back, it also makes your team feel as if you aren’t confident in their abilities.
Empowering Your Team
When you clearly communicate the business needs and what you need from your team, or even inside your home - everyone wins.
Effective delegation allows you as a leader to focus on high-impact activities and strategic decision-making, driving business growth and success. This opens up space and time for you to be flexible with your work, have time freedom and even work on creative ideas.
Delegating tasks empowers team members by providing them with opportunities to showcase their skills, take ownership, and grow professionally. Asking someone to help you shows them that you trust them.
Distributing tasks among team members allows for more efficient use of time and resources, increasing overall productivity. When people are primarily operating in their zone of genius they are happier at work and projects are done with more care.
Empowered team members are more likely to contribute innovative ideas and approaches, driving creativity and problem-solving within the business. When you raise them up and ask them to be a true part of your team, you have more support for the continuation of ideas that lead to bigger growth.
Sustaining a bigger company requires delegation not just for the freedom for you but for the longevity of the company.
And you can not only delegate to remove things from your plate in the business, but utilize this at home with your partner and children too.
I’ve taught many of my clients that when they take on an additional project or task to start asking themselves, who do I need support from to take this on?
How to Clearly and Effectively Delegate
1. Identify Delegatable Tasks:
Make a complete list of all the tasks you are doing daily for a week as you do them. Analyze your tasks and responsibilities to identify those that can be delegated. Focus on routine tasks that don't require your unique expertise and can be effectively handled by others. If they require unique expertise ask yourself if this is something they can be trained on.
2. Match Tasks to Skills and Interests:
In meetings with your team members, start asking them what they want to do more of and what they want to do less of - get a clear picture of what’s most enjoyable for them along with what they are best at. Assign tasks to team members based on their skills, interests, and development goals. This gives them a sense of ownership and enthusiasm for the delegated tasks.
3. Provide Clear Instructions and Expectations:
Clear, direct communication to make sure there is understanding on both sides makes a world of difference. When you delegate, clearly communicate the task's objectives, expected outcomes, and any specific guidelines or deadlines. Be available to answer questions and provide support when needed.
4. Trust and Empower:
Delegate the task fully and avoid micromanaging. Nobody wants someone hanging over their shoulder. Trust your team members to deliver and provide them with the autonomy to accomplish the task in their way. Understand their process to the outcome may look different than yours.
5. Offer Feedback and Recognition:
Use the sandwich technique for feedback; compliment, feedback, compliment. Provide constructive feedback on completed tasks and recognize the efforts of team members. Celebrate the successes and how they are connected to them to make sure you acknowledge their contributions.
6. Learn from the Process:
It’s not going to be perfect the first time you hand off something new, and it’s not supposed to be. This is why so many stay stuck for too long. After delegating tasks, reflect on the outcomes and the delegation process itself. Identify areas for improvement and apply these lessons to future delegation opportunities.
It’s worth it to sit in the discomfort of delegating something new to continue growing your business and have more time with your family.
Effective delegation is a fundamental skill that empowers both leaders and team members. By delegating tasks effectively, you can free up time to focus on high-impact activities that drive business growth and time freedom. Empowering team members with delegated tasks fosters a sense of ownership, motivation, and creativity within the organization.
As leaders, let's recognize that delegation is not a sign of weakness but an essential strategy for sustainable success. Embrace delegation as a powerful tool for empowerment, growth, and enhanced productivity. By mastering the art of effective delegation, we can lead with clarity and confidence, inspiring our teams and propelling our businesses to new heights of success.