One of the essential skills to have as a leader is knowing how to delegate effectively.
When done correctly, delegation empowers your people and gets things done. It also gives you time and energy to focus on what’s important.
But why do many business owners refuse to let go and insist on doing all the heavy lifting?
This mindset leads to feeling overwhelmed and overworked and eventually burned out.
So what can you do, and what are the steps to take so that you can start to delegate work more effectively and work on growing your business?
In this episode, our guest Barbara Churchill and I discuss delegation as she shares tips on overcoming the barriers preventing you from delegating your work successfully.
Timestamps for this week’s episode
- 03:19 Why do business owners struggle with delegation?
- 09:04 What does it mean – and feel – to be out of sync with the business?
- 22:19 To avoid micromanaging, how do you handle changes in job scope, description, and expectations when a business grows?
- 29:56 How can we learn to let go and trust others and stop micromanaging?
- 37:49 What can someone who struggles with delegation do in the next week to be able to do so effectively?
Why do business owners struggle with delegation?
These are several mindsets that make it hard for many people to delegate.
Personal and societal expectations say you have to do it all to be successful; you have to keep growing your business quickly and constantly, and you should always be “in” your business.
To meet these expectations, we put the needs of the business before everything else. This can be compounded by that deep desire to be the “good kid,” the type that would get good grades, perform well, succeed, and then take care of everybody else.
A belief system also says, “If it’s gonna get done right, then I’ll have to do it.” And that way of thinking is a trap originating from impatience, growing cynicism, and fear of failure.
It also sets leaders up for constant busyness and being on autopilot mode. We lose that connection with our health without fully recognizing it, leading to burnout characterized by a significant loss of (mental and physical) energy and exhaustion.
What does it mean – and feel – to be out of sync with the business?
When you are constantly stressed due to burnout, you may feel out of sync with your business and even the people and things you love the most.
Being out of sync may feel like you’re just going through the motions of your day-to-day work, and inside, you’ve lost the passion and the vision you once had. You might just be allowing revenues and sales to drive everything and no longer innovating.
It also manifests itself as not having any boundaries around your workspace. It may feel like everything is heightened or a priority. We know that that can’t be true, because if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.
“Embrace systems and processes. We have to allow them to work – we have to get out of our own way and trust what you created to work.”– Barbara Churchill
To avoid micromanaging, how do you handle changes in job scope, description, and expectations when a business grows?
- Check your expectations for the position:
Are they still spot on or match the current developments for that job?
Is it still a one-person or now a two-person role due to business growth over the last six months, for example?
- Revisit the job description/onboarding procedure:
How was training? Were you clear in both your expectations and instructions?
Did you decide to do everything, thinking that you could have already completed the task by the time you explained how you wanted it, so you might as well do it yourself?
- Install a manager:
If you are doing it all yourself, you’ll need an extra set of hands to help with hiring, training, and general onboarding as soon as possible.
- Offer trial periods:
Before hiring someone for the position, offer 30, 60, and even 90-day trial sessions so you can discover if it is a good fit and observe what kind of worker they are.
How can we learn to let go and trust others and stop micromanaging?
The first step is to decide that “I’m not going to micromanage anymore.” Decide that your health, business, and where you want it to go will benefit from you no longer micromanaging anymore.
Then allow the people you have in place to do their jobs. Nobody wants a hovering boss. Your team is made up of adults that you pay, so let them do the work. Trust in the systems and processes you have to let them work.
Make a decision and a commitment to yourself and your business’s future. Stop saying that you want to delegate, but your mind says, “No, I don’t want to delegate. I’m not going to hand everything over because so and so won’t do it the way I want it.” Know the difference between being the worker bee, the micromanager, and a CEO.
Finally, give yourself some space and take the time to think and ask yourself about how you are micromanaging your team. Allow your thoughts to run free and brainstorm solutions.
When you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed that you want to get these things done, stop and ask yourself: “What might be possible? What might be possible in this situation? for your business? And for this employee? “
Opening yourself up to that question requires thinking about something differently because possibility involves curiosity.
Since anything is genuinely possible, your creative juices will start to flow, and you’ll be able to find the solution you need to help you become more adept at delegation.
- Negative mindsets, unrealistic societal expectations, and the fear of failure contribute to some people’s difficulty delegating.
- Burning out is a big red flag that indicates you may be currently out of sync with your business. You are exhausted and overwhelmed and no longer have the same vision or passion you once had.
- If you are currently micromanaging a team member, go back and check your expectations for the position vs. the current reality of your business. It may no longer match, which is why you feel the need to step in and take over.
- Make the decision and a commitment to yourself and your business’s future to stop micromanaging. This is a mindset you must have and fully accept before attempting to change your behavior.
- Open yourself up to the many possibilities that can take place in your business. This will help you develop solutions to help you delegate effectively, empower your team, and work together to grow your business.
About guest – Barbara Churchill
Executive Leadership Coach
Barbara Churchill Coaching and Consulting
Barbara Churchill is a confidence and leadership coach for high-achieving professional women. Through her Lead It Real™ Confidence Coaching Program, she helps leaders and entrepreneurs break through their blocks and own their power so they can create the career and life they crave.
Barbara has mentored career professionals for over 25 years and is a frequent television guest in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. She has been featured on several leadership podcasts and in major publications such as Star Tribune, Renew Everyday, and Good Enough Mother.
Barbara lives in the Minneapolis area and will do just about anything for dark chocolate.
Website – https://barbarachurchill.com/
Barbara’s Coaching Program | Lead It Real™ Confidence Coaching Program – https://barbarachurchill.com/coaching/
About host – Kathy Svetina
Kathy Svetina is a Fractional CFO for growing women-owned businesses with $1M-$10M in annual revenue.
Clients hire her when they’re unsure about what’s going on in their finances, are stressed out by making financial decisions, or need to structure their finances to keep up with their growth.
She solves their nagging money mysteries and builds a financial structure with a tailored financial strategy. That way they can grow in a financially healthy and sustainable way.
Kathy is based in Chicago, IL and works with clients all over the US.