Why it is difficult to delegate

by Cody Martin on March 25, 2013

One of the biggest complaints of entrepreneurs is that they do not have enough time for themselves since they started their own business. There are just too many things to do and just one person to do it.

But maybe that is the problem. A lot of entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to be involved in everything that is happening in their enterprise. You might think that is a good thing, but being on top of everything is different from being involved in everything.

It is important that you know what is going on within your company but if you involve yourself to everything including the smallest tasks, you run the risk of burning out. In a previous post, I also discussed how having a hand in everything can lead to a business outgrowing their own entrepreneurs.

The problem is that a lot of entrepreneurs neither have the skills nor the right attitude to handle task delegation. As a result, they end up being swamped by tasks that could have been performed by others.

But what is holding back entrepreneurs from learning how to delegate? There are different answers for every person, but the most common are the following:

Fear of losing control  Why it is difficult to delegate

The need to be on top of everything usually takes over especially in pressure laden situations. There is always anxiety when you have to depend on others for results. You are not sure if they are going to do a good job; heck, you are not even sure if they will do it at all. You start worrying about things that could go wrong if you ask somebody else to do the job for you that you end up doing it yourself, which leads us to the next reason.

Lack of trust

Usually because of the fear of losing control, some entrepreneurs cannot get themselves to trust their own team. After all, if you want to get the job done, you better do it yourself right? Because of this lack of trust, entrepreneurs end up doing the heaviest workloads and their team ends up with the most menial jobs.

Lack of communication skills

Another reason why some businessmen find it difficult to delegate tasks is because they have trouble expressing what they need from their team. In this previous post, I explained how a boss’s frustration over their team’s inability to follow instruction might be their own fault. Because they cannot explain what they want to their team well, their team is not able to come up with results that is at par with what they expected. This is especially a problem with virtual office setups where communication is only through business phones. This again, leads to mistrust towards the team and the boss taking on more tasks.

Inability to separate tasks that can be delegated

Another reason why a lot of businessmen fail to be successful at delegating tasks is because they are not able to distinguish which tasks they should delegate from the tasks they should do themselves. It is not particularly noticeable in the startup phase when you have a small team and you tend to be involved in everybody’s work, but it becomes apparent once the group starts growing. This is when clear definition of job roles will be required, and if your company does not have that, delegating which task should be given to whom will be more difficult.

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