Delegating is a task that even well-seasoned managers sometimes struggle with. It can be a challenge all the way around, as letting go of the reins and finding the right person to hand them over to isn’t an easy thing to do. As an entrepreneur, you most likely have big projects from time to time. And there is also a good chance that you already have too much on your plate to manage it all. Trying to fit more in and manage it all is counterproductive, so just don’t do it.
Daring to Delegate
The sooner you trust the process of delegation, the faster you will lighten your load and still get everything accomplished. Sounds good, right? So here are the keys to your success when it comes to effectively delegating:
For starters, you need to find a champion in your organization. Choose someone you think can be trusted, someone who has the motivation and tenacity to make things happen and to follow through.
Whoever you choose, make that person solely responsible for your project. One of the biggest mistakes that people make, in delegating, is to have two people manage one task. Whether you call it co-chairs, co-managers or co-anything else, the bottom line is that it… well, sucks. It enables finger-pointing and opens the door to the “confusion” excuse, where people say things like, “I thought he was going to…” or “Oh, I assumed that she…” Avoid such headaches altogether by having just one person responsible.
Empowering the Chosen One
Make sure that your champion is only working on one big project at a time. If they work on more than that, it will increase the chances of something being overlooked or simply forgotten. Allow them to focus on their normal day-to-day work, as well as this task you are delegating to them. And that’s it!
It is important that you give this person enough rope. Trust them with the money-making decisions that go with the project. If you are not comfortable letting them decide how to spend money, make hires, change decisions, etc., regarding the project, then that is your cue that this person shouldn’t be your champion. The key to success is enabling the person you choose. In response, they will do all they can to ensure the project’s success.
Beyond choosing your champion and empowering them to take on the task, you should – if at all possible – tie a reward to their success. For example, if you can offer that, if they get it done right and on time, they will receive a bonus or a vacation. Since they are taking on additional tasks and responsibility, above and beyond their regular daily duties, it will motivate them further if you tie in a reward of some sort.
Going Public, Keeping Private
It is essential that you publicly delegate this task to the person. Other people in the company need to know who is running it in your absence, and that you fully support it. That will further motivate your champion to succeed because, if they don’t, everyone will know they are at fault.
In the same respect, you will want to be privately consistent. When people come to you behind the scenes, you must always point them back to the champion. Breaking this one rule can sabotage the success of the champion, destroy your credibility and dump everything back in your lap.
If you look around, you probably have a champion in your company, right now. There’s no better time than the present to take a task off your plate and delegate it to that person. Empower them, share that decision with your staff and, if you are like most people who find the fortitude to delegate, you will discover success on a level you never before knew you was possible.
Mike Michalowicz is the Author of the business cult-classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Michalowicz has built three multi-million dollar companies, is a frequent expert guest on MSNBC, CNBC, ABC and other television networks, and is a nationally renowned speaker. His website is http://www.ToiletPaperEntrepreneur.com and his book is available at Amazon.com and all major book stores.