Is your Delegate-O-Meter working properly?

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We have all been there at one time or another, the “To-do list” looks more like a novel than a manageable list of activities to complete before week’s end. Suddenly your Friday spills over into Saturday, and then Sunday. Monday morning has you fighting to catch your breath and the week is just getting started.

If this is striking a chord, it may be time to take a good hard look at your Delegate-o-Meter. You know this meter. It shows just how well you’re doing at finding other able bodied people to do repeatable tasks that for whatever reason you continue to do yourself.  Doing too many things on your own…without delegating?  You’re wasting time and your Delegate-o-meter should be ringing.  We often see this with business owners. The funny thing is, once you identify tasks that could be delegated to other people we have a hard time coming up with reasons why they are still doing them.

“No person will make a Great Business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”    – Andrew Carnegie

There are a lot of reasons to not want to delegate (none of them very good…).  Some of it is often rooted in the “I can do it better myself” mentality. Maybe it is a matter of trust, knowledge, or proper training. Maybe it is simply, because that is how they have always done it. The point is it really doesn’t matter, if you are doing tasks that could be performed by another person (employee, 3rd party, virtual, or other) who’s value per hour is less than yours you are limiting your business.  And you don’t get to play the “I’m the owner…so my time is free” card.  Typically tasks are delegated to employees or staff – which is where you should consider “value” and not just “cost per hour”.  You have to factor in the actual cost and the opportunity cost – when you are performing a task someone else could be doing, you are not performing a task only you can do. And that is costing you money.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”    – Ronald Reagan

There are few leaders in this world who have achieved any notable level of success without learning the importance of delegating along the way. So this week as you go about your business turn on your Delegate-o-Meter. Be mindful of all the tasks you are performing that could be delegated and make a list. At the end of the week, prioritize them by the value per hour you are spending on them. I think you know the next step from there! If not, give us a call.

Please feel free to share any successes you have had with delegating and how it has impacted you in the comments below.

Chris Steinlage  Kansas City Business Coach

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