Too Busy to Delegate?
Jun.09.2017 Resources for Business Leaders
As a Christian business owner, do you frequently feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to manage your business and take care of your family? You are not alone.
It’s easy to rationalize – “everything will be okay just as soon as we move past today’s urgent problems.” But as days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, many business owners find themselves trapped in a perpetual cycle of excessive work and a lack of personal time. This dangerous trend is inevitable unless you learn to effectively apply the elusive, yet basic concept that Jethro taught Moses: delegation.
Moses found himself in a situation familiar to many: he was trying to do all the important work himself! In his case, Moses had just led the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery. On the journey toward Israel, he found himself laboring from early morning until late at night, attempting to resolve the myriad of conflicts that arose (Exodus 18:13–16). His father-in-law, Jethro, upon seeing so many people standing around waiting on Moses’ deliberations from morning until evening, counseled Moses to instead enlist, instruct, and share the load with other trustworthy representatives.
Business leaders often think they are serving God by personally shouldering a majority of the responsibility, both at work and at home. However, by attempting to take on more than you can handle, you are short-changing opportunities to grow your business and the development of those around you.
Finding the Right Representatives
One of the most common barriers to effective delegation is finding the right people who can be trusted to take over some of your work and act as representatives of your business. Review your employee’s performance expectations, their ability to perform, their confidence to act, their commitment, and their motivation or personal desire. When each of these elements are in place, you can delegate tasks to your trusted staff, allowing time for you to focus on the vision and strategies that are fundamental to the long-term success of your organization, and your life.
7 Steps to Get You Started with Delegation
Need help getting started with effective delegation within your organization? Here is a helpful exercise that can get you on the right path:
- Divide a clean sheet of paper into two sections by drawing a line down the middle of the page (vertically).
- On the left-hand side, number and list each function or task that you now perform in your organization. Do not attempt to prioritize them, simply list as many as you can by thinking through your typical day/week/month/year. Take your time and be thorough.
- Set your list aside for a day or two and pray. Ask God to show you the things that someone else could do (not whether they should be done, but could be done).
- After thoughtful prayer, return to your list and review the items in the left-hand column. For those tasks that can be done by someone else, draw a line through them and move them to the right-hand column.
- For those tasks now in the right hand column, write the name of the person underneath each task who is or could be responsible for that task.
- Meet with each staff member to whom you can delegate tasks. Be sure that you are each clear on the task and performance expectations.
- Practice delegation by allowing your trusted staff to make decisions. In turn, your team will be empowered with a sense of ownership, and you will be free to focus on the company’s overarching performance.
You can lead a fruitful life, living in harmony with God’s plan and priorities – but only when you are willing to empower, engage, and encourage, helping your staff develop into valuable long-term team members. It is well worth the effort and is what you are called to do in your leadership role.