Should You Delegate It?

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Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska; photo by the author

If you’re like me, you’re a doer: confident in your ability to complete tasks on your own and, as a result, having a bias to do something yourself (seemingly faster, higher confidence in quality of work) rather than delegate (potentially slower, unknown quality of work).

I say “seemingly” and “potentially” because this is a preconception that, with experience, is proven to be a fallacy. As a manager, you’ve inherited and hired a team that is talented and capable; you must delegate more so that you and your company can continue to scale. (You have a different problem altogether if your team isn’t talented and capable.)

Of course, you can’t delegate everything, and managers often struggle to decide when to do so. Here are three questions you can use to evaluate whether or not tasks warrant your personal effort.

Will completing the task have a multiplying effect?

Do I know what success looks like for this task?

Is there signal value in my working on this task?

Delegation is one of the keys to management success. These questions don’t cover every possible scenario, but they’re a useful starting point for making better decisions about how to spend your time.

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Written by

Chief Customer Officer at Brightflag. I write about issues relevant to and situations faced by SaaS companies as they scale.

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