Here is what business strategy consultant, Paula Singer observes:
“In our work with clients on their organizational and staffing structures, we often remind them to push work down to the lowest possible level. This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to find out how many high-level managers are routinely doing tasks that two, three or even four levels of staff reporting to them could (and should) easily be doing. There are many reasons for this non-delegation, including micro-management tendencies ranging from ‘this is how we’ve always done it so why change now’ to more harmful control-freak traits.
According to the Harvard Business Review (9/21/10), another reason that new managers might not delegate is that they think they will be the “hero” if they do everything themselves. Not delegating, for any of these reasons, can not only make the manager a stressed-out mess, but can cause staff to check out, since they aren’t really being given any challenging work.”
Delegation is a leadership competency. Improve yours by overcoming your reluctance to delegate. Here are common excuses for trying to “do it all” yourself. Do any of these apply to you?
- It takes too long to explain.
- No one on my staff is capable of doing it.
- If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.
- I don’t have the time to show anyone how to do it.
- There is no one else to delegate to.
- I can’t dump another thing on my team members.
- I don’t want to give up this task because I like doing it.
- I don’t know if I can trust anyone else to do it.
- My subordinates are not sufficiently motivated to perform well.
- I have to retain close control of every detail to have a job done right.
If any of the above reasons resonate for you, please see our Eight Step Process for Delegation [LZ will insert link ] to learn how to improve your leadership delegation skills.
For more on excusitits, Identifying and Curing Excusititus.