by John Ingrisano
As a small business owner, you’re used to clocking long hours. That goes with the territory.
However, if you’re logging more than your share of 10, 12, 15-hour days (while your employees waltz out the door at quitting time) something’s wrong. Sure, it’s nice to know that your company couldn’t get along without you. But there’s also a good possibility that you are doing a lot of work that could — in fact, should — be delegated to one or more of your employees.
By definition, delegation is a simple concept. It involves the controlled sharing of responsibilities and authority, based on an individual’s abilities. Unfortunately, this is one of those management tools that is often applauded in theory, but dismissed in practice.
But the business owner who takes the time to master the fine art of delegation reaps the benefits of enhanced productivity, increased efficiency and higher morale in the company over the one who insists on making every decision and approving every move.
Start by taking the following self-quiz to see how good you are at delegating.
| DELEGATION SKILLS SELF-QUIZ
Rate yourself on each of the following on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 for NEVER; 1 for ALWAYS):
I insist that every decision, no matter how small, be approved by me first.
I delegate responsibilities only as a last resort.
I believe my employees just aren’t capable of handling increased responsibilities.
I insist on being in complete control at all times.
I view ambitious employees as a threat.
I believe that if you want something done right, do it yourself.
I feel guilty when I delegate responsibilities.
I work evenings and weekends.
I’m reluctant to take a vacation because my employees won’t be able to run things while I’m gone.
I assign tasks, but not the authority to make important decisions.
Rating yourself: If your total is below 30, you’re slowly killing yourself and, more than likely, driving everyone in the company crazy. Learn how to enhance your delegation skills. If you scored between 31 and 60, you’re doing a lot right, but still have plenty of room for improvement. If you scored 61 or above, you’re already enjoying many of the benefits of effective delegation.
So, work hard, make money, have fun … and delegate all responsibilities that you can. — JRI