In The Trenches

Do you suffer from delegation constipation?

Published on March 19, 2018 Back to blog
Man with Beard Looking Frustrated

OK. So, the visual here may be a bit much. But, the more I think about, the more it rings true. Delegation is one of the most difficult things for people to learn as they grow to become managers. However, as you take on more responsibility, the need to delegate becomes greater. You can’t do it all – and in most cases, it is not your job to do it all. (It may be your responsibility to make sure it all gets done, but that is different from having to do it all yourself). 

The reality is that the longer you hold it all in, the worse it gets. And, eventually, you will explode. So, in an effort to help you avoid delegation constipation, here are responses to the most common excuses for not delegating. 

1. “I don’t have time to teach them” – If you don’t teach others, you will never be able to delegate. And, in most cases, others are hungry to learn. So, teach! The longer you wait to teach, the longer you will suffer. (And the sooner you teach, the more you will accomplish.)

2. “They won’t do it as well/how I want it done.” – Everyone has their own style. But, perhaps someone else can provide a new perspective and improve upon your approach. Worst case, they get it close to the finish line and then you can modify as needed. (Of course, be sure to use this as a teaching moment so they do better next time).

 3. “They are too busy with other things.” – Stop making assumptions and decisions for other people. If they are too busy to help you out, they will let you know. (In most cases, people are willing to lend a hand and help out, especially if they are learning and feel appreciated.)

 4. “I can do it faster.” – This is often true. But, this is not a reason to do it yourself. You have lots of other things on your plate. Delegate the items that don’t need to be done today. (The longer you wait to delegate, the more difficult this becomes).

Of course, while delegation is critical to success, it is not the solution to everything and must be done in moderation. Otherwise, the opposite result can happen (you guessed it…delegation diarrhea) – and that can sometimes be even messier than the former.

So, always be sure to look at what’s on your plate. If it seems like it may be too much too stomach, quickly find others to help you digest it. 

 Have a great day!

Jeff Freedman
CEO/Managing Partner
Small Army | Finn Partners