Most leaders I know struggle with delegation. They know they should do it, but they just have trouble handing off their work. Why is that?
If you ask them, it’s usually some variation of this:
I don’t delegate because it takes longer to delegate the task than just do it myself.
The truth is, delegation always takes longer—the first couple of times you hand off a task. But it will save you hours, days, and weeks if you hand it off the right way. This requires creating a clearly documented, optimized workflow, and then training someone how to use it.
Are you fielding more requests for your time than you have hours in the day? If so, you’re not alone. The more successful you become as a leader, the more other people will demand of your time. And that’s where the trouble begins.
If you are going to maintain margin for your most important priorities, you have to make some tough decisions about your accessibility. The more successful you are, the less accessible you must become. I wish it were different, but this is just one of the harsh realities of leadership.
We’re about 50 percent short of our goal, Dad.” My oldest daughter, Megan, had just called to brief me on our recent new membership campaign for Platform University. It was day four of an eight-day promotion. My heart sank.
Number of New Memberships by Day
I don’t like missing goals. Our campaign target was to add one thousand new members to the site. Based on previous experience, we should have added five hundred members by the end of the fourth day. We were at 256.
In late 2009 I hit burnout. I’d been working sixteen-hour days, six days a week. I was spending hardly anytime with my beautiful wife, or our three children, whom I love more than anything in the world.
I was desperately unfit, unhappy, and becoming unappreciative of the success I had amassed thus far. I realized there and then something had to change.
My first big corporate job came with lots of perks. But after just a few weeks, I noticed some disturbing behavior among my peers and the company’s leadership.
Core Values Are the Foundation of Every Great Organization
I eventually came to the conclusion that my values just didn’t sync with the company’s. We were on a collision course. I knew I had to find a company that shared my values—or start one.
Building a values-based organization is critical if you want to create a culture that achieves lasting impact. But values have to be more than platitudes. You have to translate them into behaviors. And to do that, you have to drive them deep into the organization.
When I started building my platform, it never occurred to me to make money from it. When someone suggested I start accepting advertising, I resisted because I thought (erroneously) it would compromise my integrity.
image courtesy of shutterstock.com/koya979
Then I realized that all professional creatives charge for their work. In fact, this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs.
Today, I was thinking back to perhaps the busiest time in my career: the first few months right after I left Thomas Nelson, almost three years ago. At that time, I was spending all day, every day buried in administrative detail—responding to emails, making travel plans, and filling out expense reports.
image courtesy of shutterstock.com/Andrey_Kuzmin
Finally, I decided I had had enough. Something had to give. I needed to take a different approach if I was going to get my head above water.