How to Delegate without Losing Control
by Ron Hellstern
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Entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks. To some extent this is only natural — why would we launch or start a business if we didn’t enjoy running things? But this hands-on attitude can lead you to apply too firm a grip on the company you’re trying so hard to nurture, squeezing the business to death in the process. To really grow and thrive, your company needs breathing room — and that means learning to delegate, whether you like it or not.
Where does this tendency to play chief cook and bottle washer come from? Well, if you’ve gotten poor results the previous times you tried to assign tasks to others, you may finally throw up your hands say, “I’ll just do it myself.” This failure, however, may have nothing to do with the skill of your team and everything to do with your ability to communicate what you want. Other entrepreneurs just aren’t comfortable with the concept of losing any measure of control. This is a dangerous mindset, because not only can it undermine your company’s ability to perform at its full potential, but it can also place you in such an extreme “key man” position that the business would fall apart without your being on call 24 hours a day for life.
Your delegation skills also determine your ability to replicate your business and its culture for maximum growth and success. Again, this comes down to communicating your wishes clearly and in detail, lest your various units start “going rogue” and behaving inconsistently to your company’s overall processes, mission and values.
I suggest that you sit down and analyze the way you’re spending your time at work. If you’re obviously doing three or four people’s jobs, take that as a red flag — and start forcing yourself to delegate more effectively.