Please don’t tell me you still buy into such an outdated business tenet. If even a smidgeon of this viewpoint resides in your management practices, you’re wasting a whole bunch of your valuable time, not to mention, you’re missing a lot of vital human potential.
Despite how critical a delegation mindset is to management, it’s not an attitude any of us arrives in this world owning. The good news is that you can develop, master, and strengthen your proficiency.
You may have already acquired all of the necessary abilities for spreading projects to others; however, a small miscalculation on your part holds you back.
You care and are considerate: My employees are overloaded. I can’t give them another project.
What if your work population doesn’t agree with your judgment? Research shows 60 percent of employees don’t believe they get to do work they do best because their boss is doing it![i] A Conference Board report says your people often believe someone at their level would more effectively do the work.
Many in your organization are chomping at the bit. They want liberated to secure the needed expertise for their development. Your people want to expand their abilities and relationships to position themselves for the next level of responsibility.
And guess what? They’re looking to you to make it happen. Unintentionally, when you’re not steadily building strengths into your staff, you’re the barrier. Is that how you think of yourself—an impediment to your staff’s success!
You protect employees while they don’t want to be, but there’s more going on than merely that. A 10-year longitudinal Harvard Business Review study indicates 67 percent of managers struggled to let go of work from previous roles. Evidently, managers have a strong tendency to take the work that made them feel successful along with them.[ii]
I know you want to be the most effective manager possible, but you aren’t, if you’re not delegating. By spending so much time on less significant work, you dilute your influence on the company. And you question why you’re overloaded, and not recognized as a high-potential executive meantime you’re laboring on activities well below your talent level!
Next, consider today’s marketplace. A manager’s reporting workload has increased as the average middle manager has 50 percent more direct reports than 10 years ago and spends about 15 percent less time with each of them.[iii] The ripple effect of weak delegation skills, no matter the reason, reduces the power your people will have in the company simply because they haven’t amassed a full range of competencies.
I know you’re interested in a career that soars. Begin challenging yourself by restructuring the way you make your workload decisions. Handing meaningful projects over to others means you’re freeing them to become the expert.
Delegation is a win-win-win equation. You win, as it ensures you accomplish far more through others than you ever could do on your own. Your subordinates win, as they have the opportunity to develop skills for their future. And your company wins, as the entire workforce grows with robust contributors at all levels.
[i] Article: “How to Tell Your Boss to Stop Doing Your Job,” by Ron Carucci
[iii] Article: “How to Help Middle Managers Succeed,” by Kathryn Tyler