Most business owners begin as a one-man show. As your business grows, this approach can become burdensome and to a certain extent, unsustainable. Delegation is a scary word for business owners who are very much hands-on with their company. It can even be perceived as lack of control, making it a management monster that should be avoided at all costs.

But what most leaders don’t realize is that delegating can be a game changer. It’s a high-level skill that some of the best CEOs possess. There’s more to it than simply offloading tasks. It affects your personal and professional priorities, influences company culture, and empowers your people.

The Real Value of Delegation

Gallup conducted a study on 143 executives from Inc. 500 CEOs and their entrepreneurial profiles. The research showed that those with high Delegator talent had an average three-year growth rate of 1,751% or 112 percentage points higher than those with low Delegator talent. The high delegators also posted 33% more revenue than the low delegators. That’s $8 million in earnings compared to $6 million. Not only that, the former created 21 jobs in three years while the latter created 17 jobs.

The research think tank also studied 1,446 employer entrepreneurs. The result is almost the same with 33% of employers with high Delegator talent aiming to grow their business significantly compared to the 21% of employers with low Delegator talent who plan to do the same. The proactive approach is also seen in hiring with 20% of high delegator entrepreneurs planning to increase the number of their employees by 5% in the coming year compared to the 14% of low delegator entrepreneurs who plan to do the same.

The tangible value of delegation was seen in three areas:

  • Increased revenue
  • Business growth
  • Job creation

If this is something you want to see happen in your business then you need to start letting go of the reins. You need to transition from viewing yourself as being irreplaceable to being replaceable. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business said, “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off.”

The Road to Delegation

Step 1: Change your mindset. Accept that you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t do everything as well. Recognize that not only do you need people to run your business but you need to trust them as well. You have to get to the point when you’re comfortable not being around because you’re confident that your team is doing its job.

Step 2: Eliminate before you delegate. This is straight from delegation guru and author Timothy Ferriss in his book The 4-Hour Workweek. He advises business owners to “never delegate something you can eliminate.” If you are doing tasks that are of little or no value, then you shouldn’t delegate them in the first place. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your own money asking someone else to do things that will not provide any value to your business.

Step 3: Identify what you really should be doing. Go back to your original vision for your company. Are you doing things that lead you closer to it? What are the things you want to do but don’t have the time to do it? What are the areas you’re most passionate about in your business that you want to explore more? Write them all down.

Step 4: Identify what’s stopping you from doing what you want. Is it too many meetings, emails, and paperwork? What tasks consume most of your day? Most likely, there are those within that chunk of time that need to be delegated to somebody else. Remember the yes-and-no rule. Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to another. Make sure that you are saying yes to the things that have greater impact on your business and saying no to those that take you away from it.

Step 5: Choose the right people. Successful and efficient delegation involves choosing the best people for the job. Look for competent people with the right skills and attitude to accomplish the tasks. Train them. Motivate them. Accept that some people may do a better job than you. Be open to suggestions and approach it as a collaborative process between you and your team. Remember, it’s not dictation. It’s delegation.

The value of delegation is underrated in the business world. Entrepreneurs should start viewing it as an asset and leverage it for their companies. Delegating can be your springboard to business growth and the only way to know if it works is by actually doing it. So get out of your comfort zone. Delegate don’t hesitate.

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