The other night I shared with my meditation students just one of the significant outcomes from my near death experience in 1994. Before that episode, I was not aware of how the pressure and stress I was under was truly affecting me because I loved everything I was doing. However, it was a control issue on my part.
I thought I could do certain tasks better than anyone else because I knew more about the task at hand. It was easier to just do it myself instead of taking the time to show someone else what was needed or ask for help. Fear surfaced that it would not be done correctly, thoroughly or to my satisfaction. I also considered the underlying opposite fear, that maybe I was afraid it would be done better by the other person. I think back how exhausting, stressful and time consuming being in control, trying to be superwomen and burning the candle at both ends really was…and for what?
During my physical recovery, I contemplated the quality of my life – my mental, emotional, and physical, and most importantly my spiritual health. And the quality of life I was imposing on others around me. I started to understand and learn the value of asking for help instead of doing everything single handedly. I was learning the big “D”, the art of delegating.
At first, asking for help was uncomfortable and scary. I would worry but I kept my fingers out of it. When all was said and done, everything turned out great, slightly different than I would have done it but done perfectly well none-the-less. And I had more time for projects I needed to handle personally and more free time for me.
I was surprised how relieved I felt. Then I asked myself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner? Why was I holding on to control so tightly?”
Tom Watson, PhD, a corporate trainer explains, “Learning to delegate effectively will make you a more effective leader. If you aren’t delegating, chances are you will constantly battle the problem of keeping up with everything that has to be done, which leads to productivity issues.”
When asking for help, let others do what they do and accept how they do it. Trust they will do their best. Be clear on the results you are looking for, set a timeline and train them if necessary. Do not micro-manager. Let them know you are available if they have questions. Afterwards, recognize them, praise and thank them for their contribution. Do not take credit for their work.
As Andrew Carnegie has been quoted, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”
Delegating is freedom. It’s about loving and respecting you. It’s a skill and art form that needs to be learned whether in the work or homeenvironment. Delegating can bring about loving support and unity among others.
So, how do you delegate when you are a solo entrepreneur? What do you oversee yourself and what do you pay to have done? I would love to hear how you handle it. Please leave your comments and insights.
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