What would your life look like if you were competent at delegating? You come into work every day and the team is already working on the project and giving you updates instead of you feeling like you have to chase or check in with them. You feel in control while they’re ticking off your list. You’ve set expectations and accountabilities, and you can trust your team to work with less supervision.

Learn what stops you from delegating, and how the Delegation Playbook can help you to be a rockstar leader.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Have you ever noticed that the best person technically within a team, it gets promoted to lead the team. If you’ve listened to my podcast before you know that leadership is a skillset and it is something you can learn, but it’s rarely taught.

[00:00:15] Leaders that are promoted from doing to leading the team, often come across one big issue. Going from the doer of the tasks to leading the team and delegating tasks. A lot of my clients have been in this place.

[00:00:29] One in particular had been in a corporate environment and was promoted to leading the team, and had decided this was not for him and started his own business. Now it’s no surprise that he then started hiring staff and again, felt the exact same position. He felt really lost and struggled to lead this team that he had. He felt like he was either micromanaging, and getting too much in the detail or swimming to the other extreme of being very laissez faire, and too passive or relaxed in how he went about his leadership.

[00:01:00] So the ideal spot for leadership is not between these two points, but it’s actually the third point. Think of it like a triangle. Where you have the micro-managing ‘rules with an iron fist’ one option. The laissez-faire ‘passive leader that doesn’t lead from the front, the second option, the third point of the triangle is Positive Leadership. And if you want to hear a little bit more about positive leadership. You can scroll back to the very first episode of level Up Leadership and I explain more about Positive Leadership.

[00:01:31] One of the areas of positive leadership is all about delegating. And in the story that I just told, the leader that I worked with was facing the same challenge, both in the corporate environment and in his own business, he didn’t know how to delegate. And so he was taking on the task that he’d done previously, which is doing the work himself, hiring a team and then struggling to be able to delegate properly.

[00:01:58] He then thought that leading a team was not for him, but through conversations we realized it wasn’t that at all. It was just that he didn’t know how. So today’s podcast is all about what holds you back from delegating. And I have come up with the top seven things that hold people back from delegating, from my experience as an executive coach and leadership mentor.

[00:02:22] The number one thing that stops us from delegating comes under the topic of speed. We think it is quicker to do it ourselves. And I can tell you short term, absolutely. It is quicker to do yourself, but longterm it isn’t. Now, when do you know the difference between doing it yourself and delegating it? Well, this is delegation month on the level up leadership podcast so you can tune in next week on episode 27 and I will talk about the rule of delegation.

[00:02:52] The second thing that holds us back from delegating is a lovely thing called perfectionism. Now I have struggled with this a lot through my career and life. It’s something I’m getting a better handle on now, but it definitely resonates with me. And if you have a little bit of perfectionism in you, it sounds a bit like this.

[00:03:17] I can’t delegate it because they won’t do it as well as I will do it. Or what they won’t do the task the way that I do it. I’ll take it back, cause it won’t be good enough, so I might as well just do it my way anyway. You might find that impossible to let go of the reigns of a task that you know how to do perfectly. And if you delegate it to somebody else, they’re definitely going to stuff it up.

[00:03:39] Or you feel judged on the outcomes, so if you do it yourself, you know it will be to the right standard. Instead of working with a team to deliver to the outcomes. These are some of the things that can come up in perfectionism. If any of those resonated with you, you’re not alone. I definitely empathize with you here.

[00:03:59] Something about this term of perfectionism, it limits us. If you listened to episode 25 last week, you’ll know that if you can’t delegate effectively, you can never expand your productivity beyond the work you can personally deliver. So that’s where perfectionism can trip us up.

[00:04:20] The number three reason that holds us back from delegating is trust. Trusting that someone else would do it as good as you, or do it to the standard of your reputation. So it’s a little bit like perfectionism, but it is all about building trust. Now, trust in this area is not trusting the person will represent you completely. It’s all about how you reframe trust to be useful in how you delegate.

[00:04:47] The number four thing that holds us back from delegating is all about fear, and it’s a fear around not good enough or imposter syndrome. Sometimes the thoughts that can come up for people is they might do it better than me. Or my clients might like them better than me. There is an episode earlier on about how to tell your clients that your team are doing some of the work, that they won’t just be working with you. So this is something that pops up for you, have a look for that episode because it will help you out in this area. Now, this fear of being not good enough or imposter syndrome is a real one. And it’s one, we often keep really hidden because we don’t want anyone to know. Try to reframe the idea that successful delegating is them doing a better job than you. You do not have to be the best at everything to be the leader. You just have to be great at pulling everyone together towards the goal. So them doing a better job than you is a measure of success.

[00:05:47] The fifth thing that can hold us back is incompetence. Now often the work that’s in our comfort zone is the technical skills that we have learnt. When people step into leadership roles or perhaps they’ve been doing it for a while, but have never been trained in it, leadership feels really uncomfortable. It’s out of our comfort zone. We don’t feel competent. And as humans, we love to feel competent. So feeling incompetent is just a sign that you have not learned the skills yet. This is a growth curve. It’s great to be learning new skills. So if you don’t know how to delegate, you really want to learn the skill because otherwise you’re avoiding it because you don’t want to seem incompetent.

[00:06:30] So if this is one that pops up for you, as opposed to thinking that you are not a good leader or you can’t delegate, to try and reframe to you can’t delegate well yet.

[00:06:42] The sixth reason is not being sure who you can delegate to. This is really common. I hear from leaders that I don’t have anyone to delegate to. It’s too hard to get anyone else to do it. So I just do it myself.

[00:06:56] Now, this can be a couple of things. It could be one of the earlier points around perfectionism. It might be that you don’t feel you have anyone to delegate it to because you don’t believe they will do a job that is as good as you would do. Or could it be that you don’t feel that you physically have anyone to delegate to.

[00:07:14] So it’s really important to look into it and see, is it that you don’t have people to delegate with the skillset? Or you don’t have people full stop. If it is the skillset, that’s something we can train. If you don’t feel like you have anyone full stop, then it’s a conversation more about the tipping point.

[00:07:32] Where is the point of Opportunity Cost.

[00:07:36] So by doing the work yourself, what are you not doing? What is it costing you? What is the Opportunity Cost of not delegating? And there comes a point where you need to look at delegating or hiring more people or bringing more people into your team. To make a good use of your time in leadership.

[00:07:56] And number seven reason is the one I started with. How do you get your team to do what you want, without ruling with an iron fist or being a pushover. And as I said at the beginning, people often feel that they’re the two options or the line in the middle. But really there’s a third option, which is around Positive Leadership.

[00:08:15] So there’s a couple of points from today’s episode that I want you to take on board, which is the idea that if you want it done right, you don’t need to do it yourself. Often leaders will say to me, if I want it done right, I have to do it myself. We need to have a look at this reframing because if you believe, if you want it done right, you need to do it yourself, you will be capped in your abilities, because as I said, if you can’t delegate effectively, you can never expand your productivity beyond the work you can personally deliver.

[00:08:44] The transformation that we’re looking for is thinking about what would your life look like if you were competent at delegating? And that could be that you come into work every day and the team is already working on the project and giving you updates instead of you feeling like you have to chase or check in with them. You feel in control while they’re ticking off your list. You’ve set expectations and accountabilities, and you can trust your team to work with less supervision.

[00:09:11] So for leaders that are wanting to get this kind of engagement with their team, I talk a lot about effective delegation. And there’s a tool that I’ve created over the past number of years, and refined it and refined it on how to be able to effectively delegate.

[00:09:29] I’ve turned this into a tool called the Delegation Playbook. And this Playbook has got all my secrets on how to effectively delegate. And it’s something that we’re just not taught. So when leaders get their hands on this, it makes such a difference to their world. So inside this Delegation Playbook is a delegation guide of what to delegate. Five step delegation formula, so exactly what you need to do to be able to delegate a project or a task to your team. The delegation script, exactly what to say in having a delegation conversation so you don’t feel like you’re ruling with an iron fist or being too much of a pushover. And the final tool is a Project Tracker Template. Because we give or delegate tasks, but then it is still your responsibility to be across how they’re getting done. So how do you keep track of this once you become a great delegator? You need a way to be able to track it. So I’ve got a project tracker template.

[00:10:34] So because I have closed my one-on-one executive coaching and leadership mentoring until April next year, I’ve decided to offer this publicly.

[00:10:44] This is the first time I have offered my delegation playbook outside my private client list.

[00:10:50] It is an absolute, no brainer to get your hands on this delegation playbook as a leader, your time is so valuable. And if you can, 1% level up on how you lead, including how you delegate. It makes such a difference to your life and the life of the people in your team.

[00:11:10] This delegation playbook is on a launch sale at the moment and it will be increasing in price shortly. You can find it on my website, Zenith Journey Z E N I T H J O U R N E Y DOT COM forward slash playbook. So www.zenithjourney.com/playbook and you can get your hands on one of these wonderful tools to make your life as a leader, easier.

[00:11:40] As promised November is all about delegation. So next week’s podcast is another delegation topic. And it’s all about how to decide when to swap over from doing it yourself to delegating. So November is delegation Bonanza, but make sure you get your hands on that delegation playbook at zenithjourney.com/playbook. So you can start being a more effective leader.

[00:12:06] Thanks for listening today and tune in next week for another podcast on delegation.

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