10 Steps to Doing Less and Getting More Done

You’re stressed out and over worked because it takes skill and courage to delegate effectively.

You’ve reached your highest potential, if you’re maxed out and you refuse to delegate.


10 reasons delegating is difficult:

  1. You’re a control freak. (Control freaks become leaders. Many stay that way.)
  2. You worry about results.
  3. You wonder if they’ve thought through their decision.
  4. You stew over follow-through. You don’t want to meddle, but you wonder if they’re on track.
  5. You can do it better than others.
  6. You enjoy the job you need to pass off.
  7. You overthink what could go wrong.
  8. You’re compassionate. What if you burnout team members?
  9. You’re a glory hound. It’s difficult to let others shine.
  10. It’s faster to just do it yourself. (At least in the short-term.)

Leaders who struggle to delegate anticipate resistance, but often encounter enthusiasm.

10 steps to doing less and getting more done:

  1. Clarify the situation.
  2. Explain that you need their help.
  3. Make it about them. “I’d like to expand your role?”
  4. Discuss why it matters to them and others.
  5. Offer training.
  6. Stay available to help when they step out. Don’t hover.
  7. Establish reporting, if you worry how things are going.
  8. Affirm success. Honor effort and growth as well as completing tasks.
  9. Learn from stumbles and failure. “What are you learning about yourself?”
  10. Build on success. “What else comes to mind, when you think about expanding your role?” Make a list of several items that might represent future opportunity. Effective delegating is development.


When you wonder what’s going on with someone who’s taking on new responsibilities ask,

  1. What brought you to this course of action?
  2. What factors contributed to your decision?
  3. What concerns you about getting this done?

The real opportunity of delegating effectively is enthusiasm and ownership in others.

How does delegating go wrong?

What suggestions for effective delegating might you offer?

*The idea of delegating as expanding a person’s role and the question, “What brought you to this decision,” came from two separate coaching conversations I had this week.