Learning to Empower Others Instead of Doing the Work Yourself

For leaders, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing work below your pay grade because you feel you don’t have time to teach anyone else to do it. It’s time to get real– you know you aren’t supposed to do the work yourself. Sure, it may seem easier in the short term just to do it, but it’s important to consider the consequences, both positive and negative.

So what are the positives? The task gets done quickly, and it gets done right. You have achieved quality control, and you can back to your actual work sooner than if you delegated the task and took the time to teach an employee how to do it.

The negatives? Next time this task comes up, you’re stuck again. No one in your company has learned the task, and there is no future for the company. You will then have to do it yourself once more, or finally make the time to teach, empower, and delegate.

When it comes to the task in question, take a minute to ask yourself: could someone else do it, or is it inherent to only you? Few things are that way, for example, only you can sign your own signature.

If the answer is yes, someone else can do the task, then what do they need to do it? Sometimes the answer is simply that you need to get out of their way, and allow them the opportunity to fail. Other times, they may need more training. Taking the time to teach and empower employees is an important but not urgent task.

If the answer is no, no one else can do the task, perhaps look into reorganizing your team. If you are truly the only one who can do the job below you, you should look to where the structure of your employees is faltering, and why the gap in ability exists.

Empowering your employees, and understanding the importance of giving up control on lesser tasks is crucial for the success and progress of your company. By taking the time to invest in mentoring your employees, you are investing in the future of you company, and benefiting your future self’s schedule.