Overcoming Delegation Issues: A Comprehensive 5-Step Guide

Shannon Waller
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What you’ll learn in this Multiplier Mindset blog post:

  • The meaning behind the “delegation death grip” and its implications for your business growth.
  • The negative effects delegation issues have on your business’s sustainable growth.
  • Actionable strategies to proactively tackle and resolve delegation issues so you can expand your freedom and success.

As an entrepreneur, addressing delegation issues is crucial for sustainable business growth. While pursuing success, too many entrepreneurs avoid letting go of certain activities out of fear and habit, and instead end up doing everything themselves.

When we’re building a business, it’s natural to be so invested in perfection that we insist on doing it all. This is what we refer to at Strategic Coach as the delegation death grip. It’s when we hold on to the activities we know our team members are more than capable of handling because we just can’t seem to pass the baton. We want to finish the race ourselves.

But without learning how to delegate effectively, we can’t be freed up to move on to bigger and better things.

Here are five fundamental strategies for overcoming those delegation issues and getting the results you want—without burning yourself out in the process.

Step #1: Delegate to the right person.

The best way to address delegation issues is to give the right tasks to the right individuals.

Effective delegators don’t hand off projects to the closest warm body. They carefully consider who’s right for the job. I stick by the approach of finding someone I can trust to do a better job than I can.

There’s a lot to take into account before handing off a task. For example, what are you looking to hand off? What kind of mental energy, personality, judgment, and intelligence does it require? Getting clear on these questions makes delegating easier and faster, and leads to incredible teamwork, productivity, and growth.

Step #2: Determine your success criteria and the result you want.

This is the most critical step in the delegation process for two reasons.

The first is, when you’re an expert in an activity or task, it becomes routine. There are likely nuances and steps that you’ve forgotten need explanation. This is why it’s so important to get all of this out of your head before the task is handed over. Clarify what it looks like when it’s done and done well. And share your stories and experiences—they’re amazing learning tools for the person stepping in looking to replicate your success.

The second reason your standards are so important to communicate in order to delegate effectively is so the person will know how to measure success and failure. When team members are being delegated to, they want to be clear on your expectations so they know what to focus on. This makes passing the baton a smooth and easy process, and gives team members the confidence they need to make decisions on their own.

Step #3: Establish the time frame.

Overcoming delegation issues requires setting realistic time frames.

While you might be the type of person who likes to move things along quickly and works with a sense of urgency and speed, not everyone operates that way. What you might consider to be a 20-minute research project could take a couple of days for a research-driven person.

It’s important to train your team to ask how long things should take, but it’s equally important to develop the habit of setting the time expectations for them. Be really clear, and set realistic time frames together for when the project or action needs to be completed.

And if you want to keep things moving, try breaking down a project into individual targets, each with their own deadline. Having smaller goals to work toward creates forward momentum and eliminates overwhelm.

Step #4: Determine the team’s level of authority.

Do you give your team authority and leeway to make decisions? How much? Can they spend money? Make decisions? Decide on timelines? Create project teams?

It’s important to empower your team to use their own best judgment. When it comes to something your team or company has done before, trust is your best asset. Trust them to do their job and do it well, as they have in the past, and they’ll reward you with incredible results.

However, if it’s brand new territory, consider breaking tasks down into smaller steps and having more check-in points.

Step #5: Track progress and be available.

Making sure your team is aware you’re available if they need to check in or are running into any obstacles is just as important as the initial delegation. This is all part of the hand-off. Don’t be guilty of “drive-by delegations.”

Let your team members know what kind of feedback you want. How often should they check in? How much detail do you need? Keep the lines of communication open, and be available.

Addressing delegation issues is the cornerstone of business growth. Hanging on to every single thing you’re doing today only guarantees that five years from now, you’ll be stuck in the exact same spot. Let go of that tight grip on delegation, and expand your freedom and success.

Want to take your productivity and success to higher levels? Embrace delegation by integrating AI solutions that leverage you and supercharge your efficiency. See how Dan Sullivan does it with his AI-powered newsletter, The Spark.