Secrets of the Wealthy • Financially Simple

Small business owners often grapple with today’s topic, maybe without recognizing it. You may grasp that delegation is a potent tool, but are you delegating in a manner that grants you freedom, empowers your team, and fosters your business’s growth? Are you bound by the belief that nobody can perform tasks as effectively as you? Is that belief leading you to control all aspects of your company? Join me as I look into mastering the art of delegation and illustrate how successful business owners use it to elevate their companies to unprecedented levels.

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Mastering the Art of Delegation: Releasing Fear & Anxiety

Friends, I’ve often said, “Nobody understands a business owner like a business owner.” I could take that a step further and say, “Nobody understands a 30-year business owner like another 30-year business owner.” Having been in business for 30 years, I understand all of the hardships you’ll face as a startup. I understand the fear and anxiety that you carry as you enter your tenth, twentieth, or even thirtieth year of business ownership.

Being a business owner is an incredible ride, folks. But it bears a crushing weight. Ultimately, success or failure rests on your shoulders. However, they might not rest on your shoulders quite the way you think. You see, shouldering that burden doesn’t mean you literally have to be the one with your hands on the wheel. It simply means that you are making the choices that will either drive your business forward or cap its growth potential.

Too often, fear and anxiety often hold us back from delegating effectively. When we delegate, we fear giving up control and worry about how it will affect us. I’ve heard it said that “What if,” is often the most expensive question we could ask. I believe that’s true. You see, to master the art of delegation, we must shift our focus from “How is this going to hurt me?” to “What opportunities lie ahead?”

The Four Stages of Delegation

Mastering the art of delegation comes in four stages. Unfortunately, the majority of us never get beyond the first two stages. So, what are the four stages? I’m glad you asked! The first stage is where we all begin. Usually, this starts from necessity.

You probably began your business either on your own or with a very small team. As a result, you had no choice but to take on many of the day-to-day tasks. But as your business has grown, have you relinquished any of those responsibilities? Until you do, your business will never grow beyond your personal capacity. Some business owners realize this and move on to the second stage.

Stage Two: Micromanagement

Micromanagement is a common trap that many business owners fall into. Friends, I’ve heard it all. I have literally had business owners put their hands in the air, gripping an imaginary steering wheel, and say, “As long as my hands are on the wheel, I’m okay.” Now, it was intended to be funny, but there’s a lot of truth in that. This is why so many business owners never get past stage one or get stuck in stage two of mastering delegation.

We fear letting go of tasks, either because of pride or a lack of trust. This fear leads to anxiety which leads to micromanaging our teams. We become so focused on controlling every aspect of our business that we fail to see the bigger picture. Control and management are not synonymous with leadership. True leadership involves trusting your team and investing in leading yourself.

So, I challenge you to take a good look at yourself and your team. If you don’t trust your team enough to give them autonomy to perform the tasks you’ve delegated, why? If it’s because of them, get a new team! But I would be willing to bet that it has more to do with you. You must work through your trust and control issues and begin taking things off of your plate. Let go of your past decisions. Learn to trust your systems and your people. Then you can move on to stage three.

Stage Three: True Delegation

The business owners who can figure it out and reach this stage of delegation have a serious advantage. At this point, they understand the value delegation adds to their companies and they embrace it. When you reach stage three, you can experience some very special things in the life of your team and business.

For starters, business owners who reach the third stage begin to see the true potential of the teams they’ve built. These business owners know that when they delegate a task, it will be performed quickly and, oftentimes, better than they could have done on their own.

Friends, I’ve got to tell you, there are many tasks that I hate doing. I’m talking about the things that just drain me. But those tasks energize other members of my team. For example, I’m about to embark on a speaking tour. We needed to schedule videographers in each city, and I was dreading the idea of cold-calling a bunch of strangers to set up the dates. What did I do? I delegated it to one of my team members and watched as she handled it.

Not only was I able to take that off of my plate, but I allowed her to shine. She loves talking to people and getting all of the specifics of a deal worked out. Therefore, she did the job and she did it well. But more than that, she was energized by the same task that would have drained me. So, that’s stage three, but there’s one more step in mastering the art of delegation.

Stage Four: Delegating Delegation

I read an interesting quote from Dee Hock, that says, “Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time in leading yourself.” This quote struck me.

Friends, to be the best we can be, we must invest at least 50% of our time in leading ourselves. This means creating capacity by delegating tasks to others. Delegation allows us to focus on our zone of genius and move tasks off our plate. It’s about building a team of delegators who can carry out our vision and empower others to do the same.

At this phase of my career, this is where I’m trying to get to. You see, this is a secret of the rich. This is where we end up playing in the proverbial sandbox with truly wealthy business owners. So, stage four is this… Delegating others to delegate for you.

Friends, if I’m totally honest, I’m not there yet. I’m working on it, but not 100 percent there. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m giving my team members credit cards and allowing them to hire and fire people. But if I want ALL that God has for me—and I do—then I have to give my team the authority to delegate things on my behalf. I have to hand over the controls and trust them to drive the business far beyond what I could on my own.

Wrapping Up…

Mastering the art of delegation is scary for many business owners. However, if you really want to see your business grow into a valuable commodity, it is a necessity. Friends, it’s worth it to move into some uncomfortable spaces to find yourself living out your purpose and enjoying real success. As you work through these four stages, you will experience some frustration and anxiety. But in the end, you will experience a freedom and fulfillment that you’ve never known in your entrepreneurial journey.

As you begin to master delegation, you will have more time to work on your business, focusing on the bigger picture. Reach out to our team to learn how we could help you achieve your goals!

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