Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Learning to Delegate

I got the 'You have got to start delegating' speech from my pastor-boss yesterday.

And before the day was over I actually totally handed something over to another person to take care of.

It was hard.  But, given the work load that I have at the moment, I really didn't have a choice.

I don't delegate well.  Partly because I can do something way faster than I can train someone else to do it; partly because I *always* overlook some detail in the explanation that comes back to haunt me later;  partly because I want to own the mistakes and learn from them instead of trying to correct someone else; but mostly...it's a control issue.

I want to do  it so I know it's done right.

But I have to delegate.  I have to supervise, not do.  I learned that he has plans for me to get way beyond what I'm doing now...which means that about 80% of what I do now ultimately will have to be delegated.

Finding someone to delegate it to is a different issue; but once we get the log jam of backed up data entry cleared, I will have time to train a team; I'm believing that the team will be there to be trained.

And then I am going to have to turn the work over to the team.

That's scary.

It's a faith issue, of course...mostly faith that God will work out everything as it needs to be worked out...helping me train folks, helping the trained folks to recall their training, helping us all work together for the common goal of a useful and accurate data base.

And, just maybe, if I can learn to release the details of my current job to others...I can learn to release the details of other things, in other areas, to others as well.

Has anyone passing by here struggled with delegation?  How did you get over the 'let go' hump:?

Share with the rest of us! ;-)


  1. I have. I found when I typed up a sort of "owner's manual" to the job, I was able to train my successor and release the job. These were all volunteer leadership jobs. Two jobs were several years long. The third was "only" a year.

    In the process of thinking through and documenting what was done in which month along with options for finding things, I found I was preparing myself to let go and move forward to my next "job". And once I turned the jobs over with the manual, I was able to really let it go. And I had prepared it well enough that my successors didn't need to call me every other minute!

    You can do this!

    1. Oh, I am all about the step-by-step with screen shot illustrations procedures manuals... I did them for the old system, worked for hours, got them all reproduced and put in nice sturdy binders...and then found that the people that I gave them to threw them in a drawer and never looked at them. I'd find things done wrong, and follow up and find that they just 'couldn't understand' the manual (did I say step-by-step? with notated screen shots?) so did it the way that made sense to them.

      I'm fighting just a little cynicism in myself because of that.

      But I haven't had time to create those step-by-steps yet; once I get through the backlog that's on my radar. Ever the optimist, in spite of the cynicism from the past...