Do you have a long-term delegation strategy? This is the secret to moving more into “the zone” and getting out of those activities you don’t enjoy or don’t do well.
The primary reason to delegate is that non-delegation doesn’t scale. It is not sustainable. This is why so
many people feel overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out. But there is an even more important reason to delegate: to enable you to focus on what you do best in order to maximize your impact.
You do some things well and some things not so well. If you try to be the jack of all trades, you will likely be master of none. When you are operating in your strengths zone, you are happy and productive. The quality of your work goes up, and you increase your impact. Equally important, you leave space for your team members to make their greatest contributions.
Conversely, when you don’t do this, you are stressed and unproductive. You run out of margin. As a result, the quality of your work suffers and, you deprive others of making their best contributions. They don’t get the opportunity to express their strengths.
If we are going to stay focused and become even more effective, we have to have a delegation strategy. This consists of three components:
Identify your strengths – My greatest strengths are in writing, speaking, and being the spokesperson for my brand. It is, frankly, a very narrow range of activities. What are your strengths? If you had to limit these to two or three, what would they be?
Offload everything else – This can’t usually happen immediately. It’s taken me almost two years, and I am still not done. When I started my entrepreneurial adventure I was devoting more than half my available work hours to administrative activities. This included things like:
-Reading and responding to e-mail
-Managing my calendar
-Making travel arrangements
-Paying the bills
-Writing sales copy
-Designing marketing materials
And the list goes on. The point is you are doing a lot of stuff others could have done and done them better than you could. Once you realize this, you begin slowly hiring part-time assistants to help you. You start by giving up the stuff either you aren’t good at or don’t enjoy doing.
Each time you confronted a task, you ask: Is this something someone else can do or is it something only I can do?
Get even more focused – Once you have the basic positions in place, you start asking yourself: are there aspects of my strengths that could be delegated to others? But there are aspects of these activities others could do, so you can focus on those aspects only you can do.
The one real limitation you face in leadership is your time. It is truly a finite resource. You can’t buy or borrow more of it, unless you delegate. To do this effectively, you need a long-term delegation strategy. This will enable you to maximize your strengths and increase your impact.