Delegation First Aid

If you want to bring your business forward, you have to learn to delegate effectively.

The majority of business owners I come across spend nearly 95% of their time doing tactical work ie the day to day stuff!

However as a business owner, your job is to develop and grow the business. You can’t do that if you’re spending your time doing the tactical work. You need to reverse the balance and spend 95% of your time strategically developing your business.

For the business owner with staff, delegating the work that you’re doing is an important part of this. For the independent professional, this will mean putting together a support team whether by outsourcing some work, getting part-time staff or the use of virtual assistants.

Whichever way you look at it, successful people learn to effectively delegate. I’ve noticed that people often think they are practicing effective delegation when they are really just passing the buck. There is an important distinction here: delegating isn’t simply handing off work to someone else. Effective delegation requires a great degree of responsibility.


Here’s a simple framework that has helped me ensure that I am effectively delegating:

Desired Results –

clearly articulate the results you are looking for.

Guidelines –

set up clear parameters for the work to be accomplished. For instance, if I’m delegating my travel arrangements, the person assigned to do this needs to know that I want to fly in the afternoon and obtain accommodation close to the where my meeting will be held.

Resources –

outline the resources available to accomplish the task. These may include experts or experienced co-workers, budget, technology, and so on.

Accountability –

if you don’t hold the delegate accountable for the task, you haven’t delegated.

Consequences –

“…or you’re fired” doesn’t need to follow every assignment, but it should be clear that you are asking the person to do something within a particular timeframe. You can’t hold someone accountable if you don’t have consequences.


So try this framework the next time you delegate a responsibility. I usually run through these points in my mind while delegating. Just make sure each element of effective delegation is in place and your ability to leverage others will noticeably improve.

If you don’t free yourself up to do what’s important for the business, you’ll never move ahead.



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