We all struggle with letting go. Whether a person is letting go of a keepsake, a relationship turned sour, or even a responsibility; we all struggle with turning away. But holding on to things we have outgrown is the surest way to deny ourselves the opportunity to grow and change. You must ask yourself, “what is time worth to me?”
When I first began to grow as a leader and was promoted to a leadership role, I struggled with letting go of the old tasks I used to perform in the past. For me, it was a sense of self-pride in those responsibilities that had defined my success in the past. I would tell myself the biggest lie a soon to be failed leader could tell himself, “Only I can do this well, so I must continue to do it.”
Being a leader often means growing and letting go of the responsibilities and tasks you previously had. My struggle came when I tried to do both my new and old responsibilities. The truth hit me like a freight train. Either I was going to have to work a double shift every day or I was going to have to delegate.
I had to ask myself, “what is time worth to you?” The only way for me to regain balance and margin in my life would be to delegate those tasks and responsibilities which I had outgrown. The fact is, as you grow in your leadership journey, you’ll have to delegate that which you outgrow or become a static leader.
The problem many leaders make with delegation is they tend to delegate too much too quickly. They take the Band-Aid approach. This overloads their employee and sets them up for failure. To delegate successfully, you must learn how to delegate without fear.
Start Slow – It takes people time to learn their new task and adjust to the added responsibility. Additionally, you’ll need time to adjust to your new freedom. Getting rid of tasks too quickly stresses both parties.
Organize Exponentially – Delegate tasks that in and of themselves, help your employee learn their new role and responsibilities. For example, if you’re moving up in an advertising field, delegate the management of your pay per click campaign. This will allow your new employee to learn your major keywords. Then allow them to take over your SEO implementation, once they’ve learned your keywords.
Give Creative Freedom – Just because it’s not done the way you do it, doesn’t mean it is done incorrectly. In fact, allowing creative freedom often times gives fresh perspective on a task and spurs improvement.
Voice – Help your new employee find their voice. This helps the tasks and responsibilities you delegate to become their own. It promotes that intrinsic attachment that made you want to hold on to them in the first place.
What is your time worth and what is the outcome worth? These are questions you’ll have to weigh as a leader when you begin to delegate without fear. Something I like to do is “keep the cream.” When you churn butter the top layer of cream is the richest and most desired layer. You’ll have to ask yourself, what is time worth to you and how much do you need. This will ultimately dictate how much you’ll have to delegate.
As you delegate tasks and responsibilities you’ll find them becoming more and more difficult to let go of. Remember to keep the cream only. Keep the few tasks that are absolutely essential to your success. These are the ones that will deliver most of your success. Delegate the rest without fear because whether done correctly or not, they won’t have much impact on your success.
What success could you achieve if you had more time?