Confessions Of A Leader Who Struggles With Delegation

“I can do it all by myself!”

These are the words I proudly proclaimed to my parents as early as I can remember.  Even at an early age, I longed for independence and control.  Even then, I resisted the need to ask for help.

I’ve been writing about delegation for the past two weeks, but the honest truth is I’m learning about the topic along the way.  And much of my education on the subject of delegation is coming from failures I’ve made as a leader.

I struggle to trust others to properly handle the items on my plate which could easily be delegated.

I don’t want to give up control in fear the outcome won’t measure up to the standards I have created.

I remember in high school planning a missions trip to Rochester, NY with one of my good friends.  We could have shared responsibilities with others, but I seem to remember holding these responsibilities close to my chest.  I wanted to make sure every detail of the trip was perfect.

A few years ago, I chaperoned a missions trip to Guatemala.  As part of this trip, I was responsible for a group of five teenagers during our work projects.  Several times throughout our days of working, I had to stop myself from trying to do the work all by myself.  After all, the trip was meant to give the teenagers experience in the missions field.  It turns out these teenagers were far more capable than I gave initially judged.  They built a house for a family using hand tools, power tools, and brute force.  They also installed eleven-piece stoves in the homes of widows with little assistance from me.  It was a good lesson for me.  When I delegate, things happen beyond my wildest expectations.

At work, I have to delegate projects to my team members in order to free myself up for my management responsibilities.  I wish I could say I always get it right when I do this, but there are times I either over manager or under manage.  I’m learning.

I have the hardest time delegating at home.  My kids need to learn by doing various jobs around the house, but I don’t get this right more times than I care to admit.  I lack the patience to wait for my kids to learn and follow through on tasks I should delegate to them.  I fail to take the time to explain my expectations.  And I miss out on many opportunities to invite my kids into the things that need to happen around our house.  When asked to address a problem, I fix it all by myself instead of getting my wife and kids in on the action of resolving the problem.

I miss out on so many opportunities to delegate.  And it’s not good for me or the people who I lead.

Maybe, I’m being a little hard on myself, but this too is part of my nature.

I want to be a great boss, a fantastic father, a wonderful husband, and a dynamic, effective leader.  If these are really my targets, it’s time I learn to delegate.

The great thing is I don’t have to wait to know it all, and I don’t have to remain stuck in my delegation failures.  Today is a brand new day.  With each new day comes the opportunity to start fresh.

Do you struggle with delegation like me?

It’s okay.  You are not alone.  Let’s decide together to be the leaders we were meant to be.  Let’s learn how to delegate starting today!

What is your biggest struggle when it comes to delegating?