Delegate instead of DO

When I first started my professional speaking business in 1992, I did everything myself.  I hired my first employee in 1998, and after six years of flying solo, it was admittedly hard to let go.  But I knew if the business was to grow, I was going to have to stop going to the post office, making copies, and getting the copy machine repaired.  As you change positions in your company, your level of delegation must shift if you are to have any time to yourself.  You must become a leader instead of a doer and get work accomplished through other people.  If you try to do too many jobs at once, it’s like spinning china plates on sticks: the longer you keep it up, the greater the odds of a crash.  The great philosopher Virgil said long ago, “We are all not capable of everything.”  Never do anything that can be done just as well by someone who is paid less.  If there is another person who can handle something you’re doing, stop doing it.  If someone can do the job 80% as well as you can, let that person do it!  We mistakenly believe only we can do it correctly.  Be open to new, innovative ways of tackling projects, and you will be pleased with the results.  And you can focus your time on higher-value activities. 

You should consider delegating the following types of work:

·        Decisions you make most frequently and repetitively

·        Assignments that will add variety to routine work

·        Functions you dislike

·        Work that will provide experience for employees

·        Tasks that someone else is capable of doing

·        Activities that will make a person more well-rounded

·        Tasks that will increase the number of people who can perform critical assignments

·        Opportunities to use and reinforce creative talents

·        Recurring matters

·        Minor decisions

·        Time-consuming details

You should always retain broader management duties such as overall planning, policy making, goal setting, and budget supervision, as well as work that involve confidential information or supervisor-subordinate relations. Make sure to monitor work, so you don’t expend a lot of energy re-doing things.  I had an employee who was supposedly working a 40-hour week, when I checked the phone company logs, it turned out he was working for another company on the side and only working 20 hours a week. Don’t be blind and assume even your "star" employee is giving you his/her best. I had another employee who was saying negative things about our company on Be tech savvy and learn how to monitor what sites are visited.



  1. That was a great post. Your posts are always useful and can be used right away. I really enjoy reading them.