There’s something about the age of 23 that sticks in my memory. Sleep? A mere 4–6 hours a day. I was running two startups, juggling freelance work, and had a full-time job. The burnout hit hard, and the sickness that followed lasted ten years. Little did I know, I was missing a superpower in my toolkit: delegation.
Delegation: A Superpower in Disguise
What if I told you that there’s a skill that can transform you from an overwhelmed individual to an inspiring leader? A skill that allowed me to run successful businesses for more than 20 years? That skill is delegation, and it’s more than just passing off tasks. It’s about scaling yourself.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the countless tasks on your plate? Have you ever wished for a way to multiply yourself? If so, you’re not alone.
From Mistakes to Mastery
In my early years as a business owner, I was proud of my productivity. But I was doing it wrong. My relentless pursuit of perfection led me to burnout and illness. Delegation was the missing piece of the puzzle.
But delegation wasn’t about giving up control; it was about trusting others and focusing on what truly mattered. I had to let go of perfectionism, work with the right people, and articulate my expectations clearly.
Sundar Pichai’s Path to Delegation
Take Sundar Pichai’s transition from an engineer to Google’s CEO. His journey from dictating methods to asking “What do you think?” was more than a subtle change; it was a profound shift.
Pichai’s human-centered approach allowed creativity, collaboration, and ownership within his team to blossom. His rise to CEO wasn’t just about leading; it was about inspiring and maintaining empathy, humility, and insight. It wasn’t about control, but connection, trust, and fostering an environment where every team member felt valued.
Let Go of Perfectionism
I used to be overwhelmed with tasks, overthinking all the details. But I learned that in the real world, we’re always on the clock.
Being a perfectionist often means procrastinating. But as a manager, you’ll find yourself providing endless comments and requesting countless revisions. Good enough is OK — you can make it better later. Things that are important can be done imperfectly.
Work with the Right People
I call them “doers.” They manage their time, they’re organized, and they prioritize your tasks. Working with those who lack these qualities is a nightmare.
Work with doers, and your life as a manager will be much better. Look for those who ask questions, take initiative, and are organized. They’ll help you as much as they can.
Articulate Your Expectations
Communication is always the weakest spot. Be clear and detailed. Provide what you want, when you want it, and how it should be delivered.
For example, if you need a report, specify the details like “I need a report of X companies, order them by Y and have columns A, B, and C. Can you send it to me in an hour, please?” This increases your chances.
How are you currently handling delegation? What challenges have you faced? Have you ever worked with a “doer”? Reflect on these questions and share your thoughts in the comments below.
Delegation is a superpower. Since I never got management education, I had to learn this the hard way. The only way to move forward without stretching yourself too thin is by scaling yourself with delegation.
Trying to do it all yourself means not moving fast enough. Don’t let the lack of delegation hold you back from achieving your dreams. Embrace this skill, and witness your personal and professional growth.
Originally published on Medium.com