Originally posted 7/31/2014, revised 4/1/2022.
About two weeks ago I went to a wonderful Boston Pops concert at Tanglewood. While enjoying the concert, my mind wondered to business, and I had two Blinding Flashes of the Obvious (BFOs). My first BFO was the subject of Part 1 of this post, that a well-run business is like a symphonic orchestra. The second BFO I had at the concert reinforced one of the core themes of my coaching; the goal of having successful, effective delegation as opposed to abdication or, even worse, keeping every responsibility and task for yourself, no delegation. Something I call responsibility hoarding.
I know this is an extreme example but imagine for a moment that there were no section leaders, concert masters or first chairs in an orchestra. That there was no one the conductor could delegate local leadership to, no one to be responsible for assisting the conductor with interpreting and communicating his or her vision of the performance of each piece of music to be presented.
Without section leaders present during rehearsals, both the conductor and the orchestra cannot maximize the value of their time. When the conductor works with the violins, the other sections are listening but idle. Major orchestras with section leaders, often have separate concurrent sectional rehearsals, a much more effective use of everyone’s time. During concerts, when the conductor turns his or her attention stage right, toward the violins, the other sections do not get lost, they can follow their section leaders. Bottom line, the conductor, and by extension, the entire orchestra, gets the benefit of tremendous time and operational leverage. Leverage that would not be possible without effective delegation.
So, in your business, you should always be aware of the following key questions:
- Have you identified your team (both internal and external)?
- Are you delegating? Successfully and effectively?
- Are you even trying to delegate those things you are not good at, hate doing or shouldn’t be doing?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, you must answer YES to the next question:
- Are you your organization’s biggest roadblock, in the way of growth and long-term success?
No delegation equals no consistent growth, no long-term success and you becoming, if you haven’t already, a slave to your business with no exit plan. I don’t mean to imply that successful, effective delegation is easy. Delegation is both an art and a science which must be studied before it can put into your daily routine. It starts with your desire to get leverage on your time and talents in your business, and a desire to delegate.
If you are not currently delegating, are not getting the results you expect in your business, have no plans to delegate or don’t know how to begin delegating, get thee to a business coach. Any of my colleagues at ActionCOACH and I are expert in successful, effective delegation.