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“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.” ― john c. maxwell

I have always struggled with asking people to do anything for me.  I also struggle with letting go of control.  That combination makes it very hard for me to delegate at work.

As a result I have been overworked for years; even though I do have someone to assist me.

I work for a very small firm, so I wear many hats.  From being the Treasurer to being the Compliance Officer, and everything else in between.  My assistant does the daily contracts.

I was doing way too much.  I realized that she could do more and alleviate some of my burden. Now, slowly, I have been giving her more responsibilities, and making her accountable for some tasks.

I learned that I need to:

  • Give step-by-step instructions
  • Communicate the expected outcome
  • Establish clear and realistic deadlines
  • Have tons of patience

“Focus on what you are good at; delegate all else.” – Steve Jobs

It has been tough.  A lot doesn’t get done as I would like.  Relinquishing control of functions that I always took pride in is difficult.  I have always felt that anything leaving my office is a reflection on me as a professional.

I am finally learning that to delegate is to learn to accept that something will not be done your way, but it will still get done.  So what if an email is not written as perfect as I want?  It is not the end of the world.

At work, I have been guilty of expecting people to take initiative.  I expect people to see that something needs to get done and to step up and do it.  Some people will never do that.  Some people need to be told what to do.

It is okay.  We are all different.  Some people are born to lead and some are born to follow. It doesn’t make one better than the other, but it should serve as a guide to where people should concentrate their efforts.

“The more control, the more that requires control. This is the road to chaos.— PanSpechi aphorism”  ― Frank Herbert, The Dosadi Experiment

In delegating, letting go of control and the need for things to be done my way, I have found some more time in my day.

I have found freedom.  Freedom from the need to be perfect.  Freedom from being in charge of everything.

I am finally learning to work smarter.  I have not only learned to delegate, but I am also learning to say no to additional work.

Who said an old dog can’t learn new tricks?

“I’ve seen too many leaders misunderstand leadership for legacy. Even the most experienced leaders will divide instead of delegate and incite instead of unite to advance hidden personal agendas.” ― Richie Norton