One of my clients has a difficult time delegating particular tasks to his shop manager. It seems that he has the best intentions, but — and this is a big but — from time to time, he will overstep the shop manager’s authority and try to micromanage his employees.
This causes resentment on the shop manager’s part. He feels his authority is being diminished and embarrassed that his power is being lessened. He also experiences a lack of control over his position.
For the manager’s employees, it is even worse. They are confused. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Simply put, they are not sure who they should listen to The owner does not realize the problems he is creating for his company.
Scenarios like this are repeated every day in all sorts of companies and organizations. The reason is that the person responsible for delegating has not learned how, or is not willing to properly do it.
Learning how to delegate is simple — in theory, anyway. To do it effectively, you have to do three things:
1. Pick the person to whom you want to delegate and explain to the person (a) what job you want done, and (b) by when and how you want it to be done.
2. Discuss with them how they plan to do it, and answer any questions they may have.
3. Let them do the job.
Of course, it isn’t always easy in practice. For owners and managers who have trouble entrusting or delegating, it comes down to one basic issue: the inability to let go. There is a basic fear in all of us, that if we simply let go, we could lose control, resulting in some catastrophic consequence.
But ask yourself how many times you’ve taken on too much yourself and made mistakes because of it. Ask yourself how many times you’ve spent extra hours at the office just to do something that could have easily been handled by one of your workers. Ask yourself how many of your stresses could be mitigated if you’d just let the people you’ve hired do their job.
When a business or organizational leader can address this concern of losing control by truly delegating to others what needs to be done, it can result in real growth. Isn’t it time to loosen your grip?