(Post 5 in a series)

Since we are in a series on delegation, we’ve got to pick someone to delegate to.

“But I don’t have anyone capable of doing that job,” my business coaching clients in Oklahoma City tell me.

The short version is “That’s not their fault, they’ve worked for you long enough to learn. Are you teaching them how to do this job and others that stretch them and free you?”

Depending upon the size of your staff this will be a quick or a more involved process but you need to ask filtering questions before you walk up to the first employee you find and assign the task.

Are they reliable? Will they persevere to get the task completed?

Will they benefit from learning a new skill? Can you see a future benefit to this employee knowing how to do this task in the future?

Will they do a good job? Do they possess the willingness to check the details when they “think” they are complete to make sure the job is done well?

Do they have the time? Before I became an Oklahoma City Business Coach, I was managing one of my larger businesses, AmeriBanc National. I was pretty bad about walking up to one of our admins or one of the IT guys and saying, “Hey, I was thinking….can you do this for me?” Because of their personalities and the fact I was the owner, they usually said “Uh, sure I can do that.” Occasionally I would notice a tear in the corner of their eye and ask what was wrong. Then they would have a cathartic release of overwhelmed feelings – but I digress. Be intentional about asking your employee if they feel they have the time to do this task and get it done with their other responsibilities.

Will they work well with the other people involved in the task? We all have had those two employees that are both good at their individual jobs but seem to just not like each other. Which is fine unless it becomes counter-productive. Can you rely on both the person you are delegating the task to and the people they are going to interact with to get this task done?

This branching decision tree is why many entrepreneurs don’t graduate their businesses to the next level because this sort of thinking and questioning is difficult and time-consuming. It’s faster to do it yourself, but worse for your business growth to not delegate.

Go fast or go far?

At least be self-aware, there is no rule that says you are not a “real” business owner or entrepreneur if you will not delegate successfully. Like many other skills, it can be learned. You will make mistakes as you practice this process.

Not sure that anyone is born knowing how to delegate so don’t get frustrated, every big business owner was a small business owner once, just like you, trying to figure out how to really leverage the abilities of the people they had hired. No shortcuts – just get busy.

Other articles related to this series:

  1. 7 Gears of Delegation
  2. Delegation Develops Skills
  3. Delegation: The Bounce-Back
  4. Delegation is Your Responsibility

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