A dear friend of mine recently had a heart attack. She is local business owner, a pillar of the community and barely 50 years old. She is the go-to person for successful event planning. If you want something done – you call her. She doesn’t just volunteer at non-profits- when she sees a need, she starts one! She was one of the first women I met when I moved back home and I treasure her friendship very much. It was scary to think I almost lost her.
This morning we had coffee. It was early. As always she had a lot going on. The conversation eventually came around to her heart attack and she told me something really important that she has put into place since.
No, she is not any less busy. No, she has not stopped event planning or her non-profit work and her business is booming.
She has learned to let go – to delegate. What my friend has learned about delegating is that there is an art to it. Here are her 3 Key learnings to successful delegation:
#1. Be Patient. How often have you heard yourself say: “It’s easier to just do it just myself”. “It will take longer to explain it than do it myself.” The first time you delegate any task, it is almost certainly going to take longer than doing it yourself. That’s normal. Over time, it will get easier
#2. Be Specific. She doesn’t assume anything! She has learned that in order to be successful at delegating she has to be really clear about what it is she needs the other person to do. She takes the time to make sure everyone is on the same page. That the picture in their mind of what or how things need to be done is the same as the one in hers!
#3. Let Go. Once she’s delegated, trained, and set up a schedule for touching base, she does not micromanage. To succeed (and to help others succeed), you have to let go. She has learned that things don’t have to be perfect to be successful.
As an executive coach I work with real go-getters. Sometimes, when they begin to feel overwhelmed and stressed to the max I suggest we look at where they might get some support; to whom might they delegate some of the work. Of course, just the idea nearly gives them a heart attack! But it works. Ask my friend – she’s doing great!