Delegating Dilemma

Most entrepreneurs have trouble learning to delegate.  This stems from the early days when they had to “do it all” coupled with the control freak streak prevalent in those who choose to work for themselves.  It’s also common among managers and supervisors, especially those who rose through the ranks.  The transition from task performer to manager often does not come easy and failure to master delegation can be disastrous for a career or a business.

Sure, I know you can do it faster and better yourself and that you are too busy to train others right now.  However, if you don’t make time to train others you are limiting how productive your team and business can be.  Working for an owner or manager who micromanages is a top reason for employee turnover.  Would you rather continually be recruiting and hiring or train the staff you have?

New challenges and responsibilities give employees a sense of purpose and accomplishment which leads to long term, productive employees.

The easiest way to train?  Let an team member shadow you through a task and think out loud.   This simple process helps others to understand the thought process behind what you are doing and why so they can make decisions for themselves next time.

As a basic example, I had my housekeeper help me pack for the last couple of trips we’ve taken.  I take great pride in my packing prowess but as we travel more frequently with shorter turns in between, it was time to delegate.

We did it twice together with me thinking out loud through the process.  “Now if I fold them this way, there won’t be a lot of wasted space, things won’t shift around en route and I won’t have to press everything at the other end.  We’re making two stops and I don’t want to have to fully unpack and repack so let’s put the things we’ll need for the first stop in the top zipper section and the rest in the bottom.”  You get the idea.   This week, I pulled the clothes we wanted to take then left to spend the day with friends.  I came home to find everything beautifully folded and both suitcases perfectly packed and ready to go!


She told me that after the last time we did the packing together she helped another of her clients get ready for a trip using her new skills.  That client was very impressed, especially considering our mutual housekeeper rarely travels.

StoreDisp;ayWhether it’s preparing the Power Point presentation for a client, arranging new merchandise on the store floor or setting the table for a dinner party, every time you delegate you share knowledge and skills with others making them an even greater asset to your organization.


You also free yourself up to do other things to grow your business – even if that is playing a round of golf with customers or prospects.  How’s that for a reason to learn to delegate?

Golf with customers


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