By Gary Das, Founder and Director of Active Success
Five years ago, I was trapped in a mindset that many business owners find familiar: “No one can do it as good as me.”
I struggled with delegation, often confusing it with abdication. I failed to empower my team, and often resorted to reprimands rather than rewards. The truth is I am far from isolated in this experience. In fact, data from London Business School has revealed that just 30% of business leaders can delegate affectively, as affirmed by their workforce.
Those who delegate are not only able to rid themselves of a never ending ‘to do’ list but are also able to focus on the bigger picture of their business – driving future strategy, direction, and growth as a result.
However, the main challenge is not only shifting their internal narrative around the importance of delegation, but also taking the practical steps to achieve this on a consistent basis for maximum impact and results.
Why Delegation is a Game-Changer for Leaders
Amongst the successful business owners I work with, mentor and speak to, I hear a common theme – none of them are the smartest in their team, but they are all phenomenal at one thing: delegation.
Leaders that delegate well not only have an average 33% increase in revenue, but also a significantly lower employee turnover as their team members are made to feel empowered and valued through individual responsibility.
It’s a hugely challenging skill, but indispensable for business growth and can be achieved through one of the following top three delegation frameworks:
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule or the ‘Pareto Principle’ requires you to identify the 20% of your tasks that produce the highest impact and ensure you make them your main priority.
The rule was developed by Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto in 1896, who found that 80% of the land was owned by just 20% of the population, igniting his theory on power law distribution between two quantities, in which a change in one quantity results in a relevant change into the other.
In order to achieve the mighty 80/20 split in your workload, regularly review your calendar to focus on your ‘superpowers’ while empowering the rest of your team with 80% of the tasks you can and should delegate.
The 70/20/10 Model
The 70/20/10 Model is used in a multitude of ways, but when applied to leadership and professional development reinforces that we as individuals learn most effectively through challenging assignments and on-the-job experiences, with the split divided as follows:
- 70% through challenging assignments and on-the-job experiences.
- 20% through coaching and mentoring.
- 10% through formal education and training.
This shows the majority of learning comes from doing and often failing or getting it wrong, so not only should leaders feel confident in delegating tasks to their teams as this will help drive and improve their performance – but the model will also improve their own performance through the act of delegating and increased focus on higher value tasks.
The Eisenhower Matrix enables individuals to categorise tasks that they should complete themselves, delegate or eliminate. I prefer to use my own adapted version of ‘do, diarise, delegate, or delete’, but the original version is listed as follows:
- Urgent and Important: Tackle these yourself.
- Important but Not Urgent: Schedule or delegate.
- Urgent but Not Important: Delegate if possible.
- Neither Urgent nor Important: Eliminate or delegate.
Not only does this help business leaders in understanding what tasks are the most important, but it also helps in effectively managing your team’s workload while driving the future growth and progression of the business.
Empower Your Team, Scale Your Business
Ultimately, improving the way you delegate is not just about offloading tasks, it’s about empowering your team, optimising productivity, and scaling your business to the next level.
There are only two things that will drive scalable business growth, being:
- More Leads.
- More Team.
To achieve this and to make the transition from a doer to a true leader and delegator, you need to master the art of delegation and unlock your full potential, together with that of your team and your business.