It's everyone's favorite — pop quiz time! Today we're tackling an age-old frustration of many small and midsized business owners: how to delegate work to others. Let's get started!

Delegation 101: Summer School Series


1. You hate doing this task, but it's mission-critical. Do you:

a) Delegate

b) Do it yourself

2. You're the only one who can do this task. Do you:

a) Keep doing it

b) Try to delegate

3. What's better?

a) Constant oversight

b) Clear objectives

Pencils down!


1. Maybe it's collecting billable hour data, inputting sales information or handling HR compliance — whatever the task, it's something you just can't stand. Sure, it's tempting to keep going because you know it's necessary, and other staff won't like it either, but you've got choices. One option? Split the task across multiple employees to reduce the impact. Another idea? Look for automated solutions that help carry the load on undesirable tasks.

2. You're the best at what you do — that's why you own the business and that's why you're succeeding. So it's no surprise that there are tasks that no one else has the expertise or experience to handle, meaning you shouldn't delegate, right?

Trick question! While keeping the task to yourself solves the problem in the short term, what happens if you go on vacation, get sick or consider expanding the business? Here's your better bet: Train trusted staff to complete critical tasks so you've got more time to innovate and improve your processes.

3. It's a tough question — do you check in on staff regularly just to make sure they're on track or do you trust that they won't let you down? Here's the thing: too much oversight, and employees feel stifled. If there's no leeway in the process, they may take twice as long, which can cause your stress to skyrocket.

Not sure how to delegate work to others? Try this: Set clear objectives, then let staff solve the problem on their own. You trust them, right? Let them exceed your expectations.

That's all for today, folks. Check back in next Wednesday for the next post in our Summer School series. We'll be sharing nine essential tips to help you lead an effective interview. See you then!

Tags: Business Strategy Summer School