Successful delegation becomes possible when operations are consistent, proactive, and, most importantly, when decisions do not only rely on one person’s perspective. The CEO may have started their business, but it takes a team to drive it to the next level. This poses a unique challenge for the entrepreneur who has likely gotten used to multi-tasking in every department simply out of necessity.
As businesses grows, this level of hyper-involvement can become a roadblock to success, rather than the essential role it once was. In fact, the more a manager is bogged down with decisions the less effective those decisions become.
An effect called decision fatigue refers to the brain’s power of decision-making being overworked leading to reactive choices rather than proactive choices. Put simply, every decision we make, the harder the next one becomes. Described famously by Mark Zuckerberg in response to questions about his uniquely plain wardrobe, he expressed simply that he has higher priority choices to make throughout his day than what to put on that morning.
Best practices for delegation rely heavily on interpersonal skills, communication, and flexibility. Assigning the right roles and responsibilities to the right employees can seem daunting at first, but understanding the personalities as well as professional skills can help managers guide their delegation. Smart managers should recognize work styles, performance under pressure levels, collaboration skills, and attention span of their employees when assigning work.
Even simple things like just knowing when which employees are on the clock can make a huge difference when it comes to divvying up responsibility. Tasks like accounting, social media management, data entry, and web development may have once fallen on just one pair of shoulders, but for long term success it is not sustainable. Almost 60% of small business owners would encourage new entrepreneurs to not be afraid of looking for extra help.
Amassing a team of competent individuals who can take cues, work to their own personal strengths, and show initiative when appropriate drives success from the inside. For the master delegator, knowing your team’s individual strengths is half the battle. Understanding the team’s skills and trusting them to follow through frees up brain power for the CEO to focus on the bigger picture: success. Take a look at this infographic from Scale Time for more on the art and science of delegation and how short term goals can add up to long term effects.