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The Best Leaders Delegate Tasks. Here’s How to Do it Well

Delegating tasks the right way is key to business growth

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BY Pauline Mendoza - 21 Sep 2018

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PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

There are days when entrepreneurs wish they have more than 24 hours a day. Presentations have to be prepared, pitches have to be delivered, projects need to be executed — and then there are business challenges that arise in between.

When things get overwhelming and staying on top of the schedule seems impossible, it’s time to pause and think: “How can I make this situation better?”

Marissa Levin, co-founder of Success Culture International, echoes the situation above and starts asking herself, "Is this the best use of my time? I may love what I have to do, and I may do it really well, but can I outsource it to someone else who can do it better, faster, or cheaper?”

Founders tend to want to control everything about their businesses. After all, who wouldn’t want to secure the success of one’s own company, right? However, the best leaders know that doing everything alone is nearly impossible — and delegating wisely could be the answer.

Here are some insights from entrepreneurs on how to delegate tasks the right way.

1. Identify the right people

“Often employers will try to add tasks to an employee's plate because they happen to be available, not because they are the best people for the job. This can lead to a lot of problems, including poor execution, high frustration, and decreased employee morale,” Levin says.

A good leader is keen on tapping the right person for every responsibility. Strengths and weaknesses of each team member should be identified and maximized for the benefit of the organization’s goals.

2. Empower your team

“Part of successfully delegating within your business is taking time out of your day to ensure the people you're delegating to are prepared,” says Bill Green, founder of real estate financing company LendingOne.

“Make the time to talk with each employee about their expected tasks — especially if you're giving them new responsibilities. People can't read your mind. You have to make your needs clear. And even after you've set those expectations, make the time to follow up, check in, provide feedback and ensure they are continuing to move in a productive direction,” he advises.

3. Know that letting go doesn’t mean losing control

“Letting go doesn't mean you're losing control. You can still maintain control over the day-to-day operations of your business while delegating certain tasks to your trusted staff,” says Green.

“The reason [delegation] is so important is because your individual responsibilities as a founder should always be focused on things that can't be delegated: strong leadership, networking, big picture growth, etc,” adds Green.

For Levin, delegating tasks doesn’t mean losing accountability or getting yourself out of that job. “When we delegate tasks, we don't release responsibility or ownership of that task. Rather, we have added to our own accountability because we are now responsible for the performance of others. The quality of our own performance is directly tied to the performance of those we manage,” she says.

If trust issues still persist, then that calls for another set of (HR) tips.

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