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Can’t Seem to Delegate Effectively? Here’s Why

It happened again.

You hired someone to work with you — maybe it was a freelancer, maybe it was an employee. The details don’t much matter.

Before you hired them, the relationship seemed promising. They’d take some work off your plate (a few things you hate doing) and you’d have time to work on growing your business again.

It all made such sense… at first.

Now, it’s over.

A few weeks into it, you let them go.

Not because they’re a bad person or a bad worker or because you hate them, but because it just stopped making sense. The money you were spending to keep them aboard didn’t offer a clear return. They didn’t learn quite as fast as you would have liked and they didn’t do things quite the way that you like to do things.

Ultimately, the quality of their work wasn’t up to your own standards.

Once again, you’re at square one.

You’re wondering why delegating works for some people and not for you.

You’re wondering why you can’t — no matter how hard you try — seem to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the people you hire.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

And the problem isn’t you, it’s your business.

Finding the right team member is like finding the right babysitter

Taking care of a child is much like taking care of your business.

When you first meet your baby, it’s fragile, delicate. You’d do anything to protect it from harm. You’d move mountains to ensure that nothing gets in the way of that baby’s progress and development.

And the reason is simple: You are wired to care about the things you create. 

Actually, there’s a word for people who have a mental disconnect between themselves and the world around them. They’re called sociopaths.

As it turns out, the feeling you experience for your newborn babe (while more extreme) isn’t all that different from the feeling you experience for the business you’ve built.

Early on, that business is fragile and delicate — even the smallest mistake could leave it gasping for air. And similar to the baby, you’d do anything to make sure it survives.

Which is exactly what makes delegating pieces of that business so darn hard.

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It’s like finding a babysitter.

When the baby is young, finding a babysitter is challenging. Who can you possibly trust to take care of the baby while you’re away? Who will care about it as much as you do?

In fact, the top two reasons that families don’t hire a babysitter is probably the same two reasons that you’re struggling to delegate pieces of your business.

  1. It’s too hard to find someone they can trust. (64%)
  2. It’s too expensive (59%)

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Point is, delegating pieces of your business is just as hard as finding a babysitter you can trust and afford.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be stuck doing everything on your own. With a few upfront considerations, you can mitigate and nearly abolish any risk that usually comes with hiring a new person.

How reviews, recommendations, and interviews reduce risk

Fast hires often lead to fast fires (or worse, long and miserable relationships).

Whenever possible, err on the side of taking more, not less, time to find and hire the right person for the job. Look at testimonials, references, and reviews of the person’s work. If possible, look at past projects they’ve done and gauge their attention to detail.

During the interview, ask probing questions and hold multiple interviews if you still have unanswered questions.

Here are some great questions from The Muse you might consider asking during the interview process.

  1. What one skill makes you the most qualified for this position?
  2. To date, what professional achievement are you the most proud of?
  3. Can you tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge?
  4. How would you describe your own working style?
  5. What three words would you use to describe your ideal work environment?
  6. If hired, what is the first thing you would tackle in this position?
  7. Why are you leaving your current employer?
  8. What one skill would you like to improve and what’s your plan for doing so?
  9. What excites you most about this position?
  10. What do you like to do outside of work?

According to a study done by Glassdoor, a 10% more difficult hiring process results in a 2.6% higher employee satisfaction rate. In other words, taking more time to find the right person for the job means the person you do hire will enjoy their work more. And, of course, a happier employee means a harder-working employee.

There are excellent people out there for the job — people who will make delegating easy as pie — you just have to take the time to find them.

Finally, freedom (and a thriving business)

What does effective delegating mean?

Does it mean higher stress levels about how trustworthy your workers are?

Well, not if you do it right.

If you delegate effectively, it means more personal freedom to spend on hobbies, it means going on vacation more, and it even means that you’ll grow a thriving business, faster.

According to a study by Gallup, for instance, Inc. 500 CEOs who are high talent delegators grow an average of 112% faster than their low-talent counterparts.

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And that doesn’t just apply to Inc. 500 CEOs, it applies to smaller business leaders as well.

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What makes someone a “high talent delegator”, though?

Gallup looked at 6 factors.

  1. Delegators know that they can’t accomplish everything themselves.
  2. Delegators develop team capacity using a strengths-based approach.
  3. Delegators ensure that employees have everything they need to do their jobs.
  4. Delegators focus on outcomes, not processes.
  5. Delegators encourage new ideas and approaches to accomplishing goals.
  6. Delegators communicate frequently with employees.

Are you ready to become that person?

To delegate more effectively and by so doing, grow your business faster, find more personal freedom, and enjoy your life again (rather than working constantly)?

Sound too good to be true?

Well, it isn’t.

When you take the time to hire the right people for the job, your dream of working on your business rather than in your business becomes a reality.

It’ll take time. It’ll take persistence. It’ll take dedication.

But it’ll be well worth it.

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