Okay, now that we've looked at the great reasons for delegating, let's look at the flip side. You've probably experienced some, if not many of these reasons not to delegate.
But don't let past poor experiences hold you back. After you've worked through this training, you'll have the tools so that none of these examples will ever be a reason for you not delegating.
1. Bad past experiences
The leader has been previously let down by others. Now, if we were to look back at how you handled the delegation, I'm going to suggest that you're probably as much the reason for being let down as the delegatee.
Because, if you've been guilty of saying something like: "Hey Mary, can you take over this for me? I haven't the time to do it." I bet you find you don't always get the results you want from the other person.
Missing any of the steps you're about to learn can cause you to have "Aww shucks!" outcome.
2. Thinking it will be done quicker by oneself
Bet you've caught yourself saying, "I could do this in half the time it takes me to explain what I want done."
I'm guilty of that myself.
Be careful in the long term that is a profit reducing and career limiting statement.
Sure, in the short term, it is probably true: you can get it done quicker and faster.
However, your role as a leader is to get the job done in a way that is sustainable over the long term.
Because when you think it's quicker, easier, faster, to do it myself then you become the single point of failure when no one else knows how to do what you do as well as you do it. If you're the person around whom everything revolves then you're a real liability.
Do not be the single point of failure. It is career and business suicide. And leaders in high performance organizations won't touch you with a barge pole. Because they know that you will never be able to scale a business to its full potential. So not only is it career suicide, if you're not a master delegator, it is also a fast track to stress, overwork, overwhelm and conflict.
Because when you're the centrifuge around which everything flows, it means you've put more pressure on yourself than you need to. This excuse, do it better, quicker, faster myself, generally comes in hand with ...
3. Confusing Activity With Productivity
Doer leaders fear that if they aren't task driven, they aren't adding value.
When in fact, the reverse is true. This leader often complains of overwork and lack of time to get anything done well. When the pressure's on to get something done, the tendency of lower performing leaders is to continue to think and react as a doer and get it done. Rather than reach out to your team members and teach them how to do the doing.
4. Retreat To Their Comfort Zone
Particularly when they've been recently promoted, people tend to retreat to their comfort zone. They find security in the familiar and routine work that they were great at doing before their promotion. Unfortunately, they're more caught up in operational activities than leadership activities.
5. I Can Do It Better Myself
Perfectionism, or exceptionally high personal standards cause this leader to be fearful that the other person won't do it as well as they could. If they do delegate, the other person will probably be micromanaged.
6. Fear Of Criticism
Fearful of being judged or criticized, this person will not want to risk other people failing and it reflecting poorly on him or her.
7. What If They Can Do It Better Than I Can?
Fear of creating a rival may cause a person to not develop the people in his or her team. Insecurity by the leader drives the withholding of opportunity to team members, thereby limiting individual, team and organizational progress.
8. Fear Of Appearing Incompetent
This person may lack confidence in explaining what they do. They may also feel it could be a sign of weakness that she or he can't do everything that's assigned to them.
9. People Are Already Swamped
This leader fears that their team members may already be overwhelmed by a lot of work.
So feelings of guilt stop them from handing over any additional work. Lurking behind this is often the fear of being disliked if they appear to be bossy.
10. Team Members Avoid Responsibility or Aren't Committed
This leader is of the Theory X mode. People don't really want to take responsibility. As an aside, immersed long enough in a "Tell Them What To Do" culture, people do indeed switch off and it can be challenging to switch them back on.
11. Team Members Don't Have The Competence
The business may either have poor selection or training systems that has created a lack of skilled people available. If you are hiring people that you can't delegate to, your recruitment and selection system needs an overhaul and/or your culture.
12. Lack Of Good Role Models
People learn from the people around them. Unfortunately, many people get promoted even though they aren't particularly good at delegating. Consequently, in many organizations, the skills of delegating and balancing workloads are not readily or skillfully taught and learned.
13. The Organizational Culture
No tolerance for mistakes may make it far too dangerous for the leader to risk delegating.
Alternatively, there may be internal conflicts that make it politically risky to delegate.
Or you're stuck in the command and control style of leadership. That style of leadership certainly didn't work last century, and it certainly has no place in the modern workplace.
These are all reasons why leaders might hesitate to delegate.
As we progress through the training, we'll tackle them head on and give you the tools to create a more collaborative and productive workplace.
Next, we're going to look at your motivation for delegating and how that can impact on both trust and enthusiasm of the person you're delegating to.
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