One of the biggest problem I had managing a team is delegating tasks to other team members. Working in a team of 2 for many years have conditioned us to do everything ourselves. Since we are building products and prototypes for startups, this meant we do everything from design, development to deployment.
But no matter how good we are at the job, there is no way we can tackle every single task ourselves. In order to do more, we had to have more people in our team and split the work. I have to admit that I was forced to delegate and it wasn’t easy.
The first thing I had to understand was that in order to achieve more and have a bigger impact, delegating tasks to others is critical. This allows everyone to focus on parts they are good at and push the boundary of their work.
This also does not mean I’m losing control over the tasks and I have to trust the person I’m delegating to. Basically, I have to accept that things can be done differently and leverage unique skills of each individual. You can also take this opportunity to teach and mentor your team members.
At first, it may seem that things are moving slower than usual but have faith in your team members. Once your team gets the hang of it, productivity will increase and it will free you to focus on tasks that are important to you.
How to Delegate
Start with small and simple tasks. This helps in getting yourself comfortable working with others.
Make sure you pick the right person for the task and trust in their ability to complete it.
Give clear instructions and a deadline for the task.
- Entrust them with the responsibility & authority and be there to defend and help them if required.
- Touch base with them regularly for progress updates and issues. You can do daily meetings with them.
- Give credit to their work publicly if possible.
If you feel your team is not as productive as they can be, the problem could be that the leader is not delegating tasks well enough. As a leader and entrepreneur, learning how to delegate tasks and responsibilities to others is one of the most important thing you can do. To do more, you have to stop doing all the things.
Photo credit: Stop by Lucas Cobb, on Flickr