It’s not too late … to delegate!

I’m thrilled to welcome Bradley Charbonneau from Pass The Sour Cream in a guest post today. Bradley runs a successful WordPress web development company and always has a ton of clients who want to hire him. The only problem: there’s only one Bradley. So, I challenged him to a month of delegating some of his workload. The results were pretty amazing. 

When John challenged me to a month of delegating, I took it on with gusto. Let me sum up my current situation with delegation:

I do it all.

There, that sums it up. I delegate just about, wait, let me calculate, hold on, just about there, OK, got it: zero. Zero percent. You know when sometimes you see the written number zero and then in parentheses they have the numerical symbol? Here, I’ll do that for you in case you didn’t get that four-letter word: 0. Another calculation: that means I do 100% of the work. How much of the time? 100% of the time. I don’t delegate 42% of my work 25% of the time (too confusing to figure out how much that would be anyway). Here, easy math: 0% delegation 100% of the time. My 6-year old can do that math. My 6-year old has my 8-year old doing his homework for him*. That’s delegating. OMG, my 6-year old has a better grasp on “business leverage” than I do. I’m done for.

I know, I know, you’re sitting there saying to yourself, maybe even a little out loud, “But Bradley, WHY don’t you delegate?” I know, I ask myself the same thing–even a little out loud. It must be because I’m a brain surgeon and if I delegate certain aspects of my work, lives could be at risk. Hmm, let me check, nope, not a brain surgeon. Aha, I’m an artist and if I put the paintbrush in another’s hand and instructed them to do my work, the esprit d’oeuvre, the passion of the deeper meaning, the je ne sais quoi de blah bleu blah, just wouldn’t come through and I couldn’t bear to attach my name to such an impostor of the art. Excuse me? Whatever. No, not that.

I’m afraid the answer is “E”: none of the above. The answer is, probably, well, mainly, wow, do I have to really admit it here? Admit it in “writing” here on this site? Geez, take it so seriously! Can’t I just continue to be too busy and just keep on doing the same thing over and over and wish that it would somehow change and wonder why it doesn’t? I know delegating my work would help me. I know that it would even help someone else, it would give someone else some work. It would benefit the client because I, well, we, would get said work done more quickly, more efficiently, maybe even on time. OK, deep breath. Here comes. Here’s the reason I don’t delegate:

I’m an idiot.

Sure, there are probably sub-reasons.

  • I’m scared.
  • I’m going to sacrifice the integrity of my work ( … puh-lease).
  • I don’t have time to train someone.
  • I’ll train them and then they’ll leave and I’ll have to train someone else.
  • Then I’ll have to train another person.
  • Then they’ll learn so much they’ll go out on their own and be my competition.
  • It’s going to take me less time to do it myself.
  • It’ll take me as much time to write it up as it would for them to do it.

I’m not into excuses, I consider them priorities. Where there’s a will there’s a way and all that. If I wanted it to happen, no, really wanted it to happen, I could make it happen. It just makes me realize I don’t really want it to happen–enough. But I know it should happen, I know I’ll be happier. I know the joy I’ll get from the outcome will be infinitely greater than the suffering and work I’ll put into it. Hmm, easy math, right? But it’s not math. It’s the unknown, emotions, idiocy, fear of change.

Wow, this kinda sucks. I have to lay all this out here, explaining how this thing isn’t really working and even analyze why it’s not working (which is basically ripping myself apart and admitting that I’m an idiot) to what outcome again? Oh yeah, to make things better. To improve.

If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.

Fine, I admit it: it’s hard. I don’t want to actually do it, I want it to be done. I want to “be doing it” then I can “have done it.” It’s really just a question of verb tense. I don’t want to Do It.

*I’m not kidding.

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About Bradley Charbonneau

I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized. "Be as you wish to seem. -- Socrates"

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this Bradley – and John.

    I believe that delegating and other managerial tasks are so important that I have started a Linked-In group called ‘Support for Managers’. Feel free to join (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Support-Managers-4706765?gid=4706765&trk=hb_side_g).

    I am using the group to share my experience of managing and encourage others to do the same. The aim is that we will all benefit – and if managers get it right, everyone is a winner!

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