A Police Officer once told me that if you could just get a young child to stop at the pavement when crossing, then road traffic accidents involving children would plummet. Apparently, for whatever reason, when a child wants to be on the opposite pavement all other factors – including oncoming traffic – will even enter their consciousness. So they run out and…
I always recall that conversation when thinking about the main reason I believe many fine managers do not delegate.
I’m sure, like most people, you have more work than you can cope with. You haven’t got a time management problem, you have a workload problem.
So what to do? How can you lessen that pile of tasks that never seems to get smaller? Why, of course, you delegate!
But hang on. If it’s so obvious, then why aren’t managers doing it more? Often the reasons cited are:
· No-one can do it as well as they could
· They’re not sure that they could trust any employee within their team to carry it out properly
· It’s just quicker to do it yourself!
All valid reasons and, in certain circumstances, all true. But I believe that there is another reason why people don’t delegate: their ‘can do’ mentality.
A ‘can do’ mentality is a tremendous attitude to have. When confronted with a series of tasks, many good managers’ immediate and automatic response is to search for the best strategies that will allow them to shift the workload in front of them. The fact that a sizable piece of that workload could be delegated to others often does not – I am convinced – even occur to them.
So they don’t delegate for any other reason than the fact that the option doesn’t even present itself in their thinking. It’s not a reluctance to delegate; I sincerely believe it’s that the option to farm out some of their workload doesn’t even bleep on their radar.
So stop at the edge of your working week and take a long hard look take a long at your workload. Is there something you could pass to your team? Today?
Or are you a time management accident waiting to happen?