Let’s be realistic. If you’re going to achieve anything in life, you’re unlikely to do so alone. As author Bradley Trevor Greive once conveyed, “I once thought that becoming an elite creative professional meant doing everything on my own. [But] the notion of the ‘auteur’ in any creative field is a complete myth; it’s utter nonsense, a toxic lie, a pungent sham,” he writes. So give up the guilt in sharing your load. Call in for back-up, empower an employee to take a project off your plate, freeing you up to focus on the bigger picture.
Sir Richard Branson put it best: “Most entrepreneurs are driven personalities,” he says, “but you can’t overcome challenges and bring new ideas to the market through the sheer force of personality alone. You need to learn to delegate so that you can focus on the big picture.” And it won’t only empower you, but also your employees. Studies have shown that delegating tasks to staff can boost their self-esteem and create mutual trust in an organisation.
According to best selling business author Josh Kaufman, there are four ways to ‘do’ something: completion, deletion, delegation or deferment. He recommends making a list of all the things on your mind and then asking yourself, ‘How many of these tasks can I move off my plate immediately?’ As for knowing when to delegate, “It’s effective for anything that other person can do 80 per cent as well as you,” says Josh.
Leaders at PayPal, Etsy and TED use the task management software Flow to delegate projects to their workforce. Not only can you assign, organise and discuss projects with a group, but you can censor certain people – such as outside contractors – from seeing certain parts of a discussion or document stream. Because you don’t need to give everything away.