Ask any successful person what helped them to be a success and you will no doubt find them talking about the host of people who helped them along the way.
At some level we all understand that if we are going to achieve to anything like our true potential we are going to have to enlist the help of others and trust them. Despite this level of understanding, we still see managers not delegating effectively or at all.
So what might be stopping you from delegating as a manager?
Okay let’s be totally honest, at this precise moment in time you probably could do it quicker yourself and maybe also for the next few times as well. On the other hand, doing the task that could easily be done by someone other than you is eating into your ultimate limiting factor called time.
Remember that showing someone else is a one time investment of time that pays back over and over again.
Again, short term you might be absolutely right. On the other hand they might actually do it even better. Take technology as an example. People of a certain age were brought up with technology and often know more shortcuts than you.
In this situation you might worry about looking incompetent or not up to the job. Looking at it differently however, the role of the manager is to focus on what they do best and to unlock the potential in others. If they can do it better than you, give it to them. It’s called good management.
Ask any manager and I bet they will be able to recount a time when they delegated something that all went wrong. On reflection they generally realise that there were a whole host of factors that contributed to the failing. Giving the message, “You will let me down”, is akin to saying to someone, “I don’t trust you”. Hardly a message you want to give or one your people want to hear.
It is one of the biggest myths around that to be a successful manager you need to be brilliant at everything. Look at sports as an example. Many mediocre players go on to be great coaches or managers while many who are brilliant players then struggle. The thing to remember is that what you are judged on ultimately is your ability to deliver results through others and that’s what management is all about.
The Bottom Line: The most successful managers focus on their priorities and on being great managers. Don’t let your ego or self-doubt stop you from delegating and get the results you know you can deliver.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professional people to become highly effective managers. He invites you to sign up for his free e-course, Management Mastery, at www.goalsandachievements.co.uk.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.