Delegation – The Entrepreneur’s Achilles Heel?
Working primarily with entrepreneurs, I find that delegating is often the skill they find hardest to master. Those who do not delegate, either drive their businesses to fail, are moved sideways by the board, or spend a long time in the grey zone where their companies are effectively the walking dead.
There are some key reasons why people do not delegate successfully;
- Control. By definition Entrepreneurs start out as control freaks. On day one, they are doing everything themselves. Delegation starts with letting go, using an awareness of the unique skill set the entrepreneur has to select what tasks others will be better suited to. These tend to be tasks that are likely to recur, that others can do, that help others grow their skills and that are not critical for the long term success of the business. There are some tasks that a leader cannot delegate and needs to remain in control of. These tend to be around managing investors and the external world, setting and monitoring the vision, culture and strategy of the business, and finally appointing and developing their direct reports.
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