Level The Scales
“Why don’t I delegate more?”
About a year ago, we added a new consultant to our team who immediately provided additional capacity; I was thrilled to have him on board. Upon the conclusion of a client engagement a few weeks after his arrival, I immediately began the typical follow-up tasks, prompting him to ask, “Why are you doing that? That’s what you hired me to do.”
Like me, you’ve probably had people offer this advice: You need to delegate more. More pointedly, I once had a trusted mentor state, “If there is anyone else in the organization who can do that task, then she should be doing it.” That made sense.
In the realms of productivity and leadership, delegation is often hailed as a crucial skill. Effective delegation can enhance team performance, free up valuable time for higher-level tasks, and streamline workflows. That said, I used to avoid delegating, which restricted the growth of my leadership prowess.
I questioned whether my aversion to delegation was due to a lack of trust? Or maybe a desire for control? Could it be a fear of losing relevance? Or possibly an apprehension about the additional time required for training?
Well…none of those seemed quite right.
Then I heard an insight that helped me better understand my aversion.
Comparison stymies delegation. Specifically, when delegating to a person in a job we’ve already done well, we often compare their first day with our best day.
The old saying is right: Comparison is the thief of joy. In this case, a simple reframing has leveled the playing field and allowed me to see past the performance of others’ first day and look toward the potential of their best day.
Delegation just got easier.