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You are being your best when you delegate

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Are you the bottleneck in your organization? As a leader, do you find yourself doing everything and delegating little to anyone because you want it done right (which means your way and to your standards)?

This might bring you killer short-term success, but will eventually stifle not only your growth but also that of your company. In other words, you will become the bottleneck that slows your company’s growth and diminishes your capacity as a leader.

You can choose another path. A better path.

Give up control? Does the thought alone make you break out in a cold sweat? I feel your anxiety! I spent most of my young (and not so young) life as world-class control freak. I knew I was the best person for job — regardless of the job. It wasn’t until I started to work myself into leadership roles — eventually landing in the CEO — seat-that I saw how truly detrimental controlling everything was not only to my growth, but also to the growth of our company. I became the bottleneck.

I sat in too many roles and despite my dogged work ethic and uber efficient methods, I couldn’t do it all. But what’s a girl to do? Trust that someone else can do the job as well? As if…

I swallowed my pride and took a giant dose of humility and made some changes. None of this is new (although it was new to me). Drawing on personal experience and the advice of “experts,” here are some simple (but not always easy) steps to move yourself from a Control Freak to the occasional “Control Hobbyist.”

Get over yourself! Your way is not the only way, and (surprise), it may not even be the best way. Once you learn and accept this truth, it’s easier to delegate.

When it’s time to replace yourself in a particular role, hire someone better than you for the job. This goes a long way to letting go and allowing another team member to assume those responsibilities.

Be accountable. Make sure your team knows it is OK to call you out when you fall back into old habits — because you will!

Make peace with the things you can’t control and throw your energy into what you can (and should) control: your health, your fitness, your decisions, your attitude, your goals.

Resist the urge to “re-do” or “fix” a project or task that someone else has completed. If after a day you are certain that by not addressing the problem (as you see it), you are risking the success of your company as a whole — then work with the responsible party to brainstorm how they can resolve the problem. Most of the time you will come to realize it’s just different from your methods, but not detrimental.

Our company has a brilliant system of accountability, autonomy, clarity and transparency that mitigates many of my natural control-freak fears of delegating and relinquishing control to others, freeing me up to do what I do best.

Are you ready to stop being the bottleneck in your organization and be the leader you always wanted to be? It won’t be easy (I still struggle from time to time), but the benefits to you personally and to the success of your company will make the effort both necessary and rewarding. Ready, set, DELEGATE!


Cheri Dudek, leadership enthusiast/CEO at Orchard Corset. Read her leadership blogs at www.cheridudek.com//category/latest-news/