Great leaders are also great delegators. If you go into practice ownership trying to do everything yourself, you’ll never get the time and freedom you’re looking for and only stunt your practices growth.
Delegation allows you to maximise time, productivity, and the combined skill set of your team, whilst reducing key person risk. It’s also a great way to build the confidence, autonomy, and skill set of your team.
So, if you’re juggling a million projects at once and need to pass the ball on a few things, then here’s your guide to delegating onto others.
When do you delegate?
The Eisenhower matrix is an excellent and often-referenced tool that allows you to classify tasks and projects so you can better manage your time.
As you can see, tasks that are urgent but not important are the best to delegate. This might be a task, a message that needs to be relayed, ownership of a project, or even an ongoing authority within the practice.
Why you should be delegating
When you’ve spent years building and growing the business, it can feel a bit like a baby you’re very protective of.
Logically, you know you want more time and freedom and to focus on the work you love, but a lot of people have that urge to do it all themselves because they don’t want to lose control. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “this will just be quicker if I do it myself” and end up burning the midnight oil because we think it’s all up to us.
But, this is actually the perfect opportunity to offer your team more responsibility, autonomy, and develop them as talent. It might stretch them, but that’s the only way we grow!
Showing your team that you trust them with new tasks is also a great confidence boost – further deepening your relationship as a mentor and leader rather than just a boss.
How to choose the right person
There are a few things to consider, such as attitude, existing skill set, workload, and whether they’re up to the task.
You might instinctively know who the right person is and just know, or you might need to consult other team members and ask around.
Don’t be afraid to ask your team “Who would like to lead this project? Do you have the capacity to take this on right now?”
Giving communication, context, and clear instructions
When delegating, you need to ensure you aren’t setting people up to fail. Communicate what needs to be done, by when, and WHY. Take the extra ten minutes to explain the strategy and context around the task, explain what it will look like when done right, and how this benefits the practice in the big picture.
Don’t forget the execution either – take some time to run them through the process and it’s crucial to have your SOP’s in order so that a new team member can effectively pick it up straight away.
Try not to helicopter and hover over the person taking on the task, but do have someone on hand should that person need to clarify or ask questions – whether it’s yourself or someone else.
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