One of the most powerful things that you can do to move forward in your career is delegate. It’s also one of the things that most leaders struggle with.
I work with a lot of women who tend to do EVERYTHING at their workplace. You may be familiar with this person, she is the go-to person that knows every process, every system, every secret, every answer and solves every problem. If a crisis occurs, everyone turns to Nancy Know-it-All. She’s invaluable to the company and we don’t even want to think of where we would be if anything would happen to Nancy.
Have you ever considered that being invaluable actually holds the company hostage? When everyone depends on one person to make all the decisions and handle every issue, future leaders aren’t able to learn and gain experience. Important talents go untapped and ambitious people will look for employment elsewhere.
Even worse, when you make yourself invaluable you’ll never be promoted. Why would you be given a promotion or a pay raise if you’re already being paid to do everything?
What’s the solution? You can begin by delegating. I know that you don’t want to delegate because you know how to do the job quickly and efficiently. But guess what? There may be someone out there who can do tasks even better or faster than you can. You just have never given them a chance.
Your first delegation task is to make a list of all the tasks that you do daily, weekly and monthly. If you’re like me, there will be a lot of items. Next, circle the tasks that ONLY you can do. The things that you are brilliant at, the things that make you the most money, the things that your clients praise you for the most.
Everything else can be delegated; such as, newsletter, working on my next book. On that list the one thing that only I can do is the writing. The rest of those tasks can be delegated. This is going to take some patience and some practice, especially if you have trained everyone to depend on you for everything.
You need to let your team know that you are all moving forward and that you find their support valuable. Resist the urge to micromanage anything that you’ve delegated and remember that it’s taken you years to attain the knowledge and experience that you have. Be patient and positive. When you realize that someone can do a task even better than you can, you also discover that you have new time in your schedule to attain your new goals and be your best self.
Remember: If you want to be and influential leader, you’ll need to carefully remove yourself from tasks that can be (and should be) done by others. Just because you know how to do everything doesn’t mean you have to.
Remember, when you let go, you make space for something better.