Delegation? Easy, just tell someone to do something…so why all these references to the “Art of Delegation”
Delegation? Easy, just tell someone to do something…so why all these references to the “Art of Delegation”


There is a saying, “never put off until tomorrow what you can get someone else to do today”.


Every leader knows the most successful businesses are the ones with the strongest teams. For your team members to grow individually, they must have opportunities to prove themselves.

Many entrepreneurs, however, find it quite difficult to delegate to their team members due to various reasons. One is usually related to that touchy issue of time. Or rather, not enough time as the entrepreneur tell themselves that they are too busy to delegate and just not worth the effort and time to delegate the task. “Why should I spend fifteen minutes explaining to someone else how to do a task that will take me five minutes?”

However, in reality, delegating is not just about time.

Another constraint for many entrepreneurs to delegate is that age-old curse known as the “Founder’s Trap”. Most start-ups start with just the founder who has to do every single thing in the business before being able to employ people onto the team. This leads to the illusion that the founder is the only person that can do anything.

To compound that illusion further, entrepreneurs and leaders are programmed to despise laziness. That trait is a big part of why they’ve succeeded. With that comes a level of guilt, if they can do more, they should. And in a new business, there’s always more to be done. There are many very good reasons to be a “control freak” in a start-up business, but, as Steve Jobs put it so succinctly, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”


So, how does a newfound boss go about the “art” of delegating?

There are basic steps to follow, namely, planning, delegation itself, and the most important piece, the control step. Here are some practical guidelines for mastering the art of delegation:

    • - Carefully consider what you can hand over.
    • - Choose tasks that prioritise your employees’ careers with increased responsibility, empowering them in the process.
    • - Channel the time and intensity you would have devoted to the job at hand and redirect that time into educating someone else.
    • - Get out of the way. Tell them to "make it awesome" and let them run with it. Let them know you have high expectations of them and let them get on with it. Remember the Steve Jobs quote?
    • - Persevere. Recognise that teaching and learning is not always a linear process, and it doesn’t happen smoothly or overnight.


Being a self-aware leader means acknowledging that you aren’t a super hero. You’ve intentionally hired your team members to bring skills to the table that you lack. Use smart delegation techniques to grow those employees and watch your business grow as a result.

Another saying…

“It takes time to delegate, but in the end, it saves you time.”