The Life Changing Magic of Delegation
Emails, questions, projects, event support requests will never stop. Weekend, bedridden sick, away for an hour off the laptop — it will never stop.
What I call a successful weekend is a weekend without important emails coming in, and the ability to fully UNPLUG from phone and laptop. I have yet to experience this glory — someone who has been to this paradise, please let me know how amazing that felt.
Few weeks ago, someone told me, “I think it makes sense to delegate this job, because you’re not going to constantly be on your laptop 24/7.” And it clicked in my mind: delegation.
Back in University, it was always easier to do things on my own but soon found my comfort zones. Entering first year of my Bachelor’s degree, I had a solid group of friends in the same major and we knew each other well enough to know our strengths and weaknesses. So we delegated almost automatically for the next 4 years.
Then I did my Masters, where most of the class consisted of freshmen, off from Bachelor’s degree. There were a few who are working full time and studying part time. They always stood out, mainly because they seemed fine going through class without a group of people and they were not afraid to voice out their opinions. Having the privilege to work for one assignment with them was great — they were so efficient , organized, and their work had depth.
So from personal experiences alone, delegating was not an issue. But I have only experienced delegating to peers — not employees.
I do not want to micromanage. The best managers I’ve ever had were the ones that made me think I developed myself at work. But it’s with their invisible hands that I was able to reach full potential.
“If your mind is filled with the micro-level details of a number of jobs, there’s no room for big picture thoughts,” she says. As hard as it may be to change your ways, the “challenge is one that will pay off in the long run,” says Jennifer Chatman, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “There may be a few failures as your team learns to step up, but ultimately they will perform much, much better with greater accountability and less interference.” (HBR)
Looking at the signs, it may seem like I haven’t let go as much as I wanted to. With the business picking up and expanding, more workload are coming in and overwhelmed is an understatement of how I feel right now.
What I have learned from delegating so far is that — IT TAKES A BURDEN OF THE WORLD OFF YOUR SHOULDER! Okay not the world, perhaps the weight of a country. It is that life-changing. The life-changing magic of delegating tasks.
But also, you can spot shining stars by delegation, who can do things independently and who needs guidance throughout the process. Who’s more comfortable with Task A, and Task B. No one is better than the other; they just have different styles of approaching challenges.
Big points for getting to know strengths and weaknesses of the team through this too. Job interviews and team dinners are good places to get to know them, but when a challenge presents itself, that’s when you get to know their core. And what is life without challenges?
Our first project is kicking off 2nd of November and it’s going to be the first one that I delegate big jobs to the team. Let’s see what the first challenge will teach us!
Here’s some links I’m reading to become better at delegating tasks.
Sometimes, efficiency isn't about shifting priorities or working on things in a different order. Sometimes, your…www.inc.com
"The surest way for an executive to kill himself is to refuse to learn how, and when, and to whom to delegate work,…www.inc.com