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This article was published on August 24, 2013

Get more done: How to delegate effectively

Get more done: How to delegate effectively
Ilya Pozin
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Ilya Pozin

Ilya Pozin is a serial entrepreneur, writer, and investor. He is the founder of Internet TV platform Pluto TV, digital marketing agency Copl Ilya Pozin is a serial entrepreneur, writer, and investor. He is the founder of Internet TV platform Pluto TV, digital marketing agency Coplex, and social greeting card company Open Me (acquired by Rowl). Named one of Inc.’s ‘30 Under 30’ entrepreneurs, Ilya also has columns appearing on Forbes, Inc., and LinkedIn

Ilya Pozin is the founder of Ciplex, and a writer on entrepreneurship and marketing.

Don’t look now, but your micromanagement habits might be stunting your company’s growth. If you’re improperly, inefficiently, or just plain avoiding the delegation of tasks, you may be harming your company more than you think.

The efficient delegation of tasks is crucial to the success of all employers. I know this from firsthand experience as founder of Ciplex and Open Me. Through my experiences, I’ve had to learn which tasks are more efficiently delegated and which ones I should tackle myself.

While companies vary in terms of operations, it’s your duty to handle the most important tasks–which have the biggest impact on the growth of your business. Anything less significant should be delegated to trusted employees.

Here are my tips for knowing which tasks to delegate–and how to do it properly:

1. Settle for 80%

Perfection isn’t the key to success. Believing this could put your business in jeopardy. CEOs and entrepreneurs alike should accept 80 percent as good enough–make it your new A+. As long as your goals are met, don’t sweat the small stuff. The last 20 percent can take the longest to achieve and it often has diminishing results anyway. You’ll get more done by moving to the next tasks and improving things as they come along.

2. Stamp out micromanagement

Thinking you’re the most knowledgeable and efficient person to handle every single task is one of the most poisonous mindsets you can have. You’re not only proving your distrust for your employees, you’re also wasting countless amounts of time and energy.

Learn to loosen up and let others steer–you may be surprised what kind of innovation will flourish. If you keep focusing on achieving your standard of 80 percent, you’ll be more likely to keep micromanagement at bay.

3. Stay focused

As a CEO, founder, or manager, you need to ensure you’re only tackling the tasks that affect company growth. Make no exceptions to this rule and adamantly delegate everything else. There’s only so much time in the day and you’re bound to be busy, so keeping your focus is key. If you find you’re out of things to do, your company could become stagnant.

4. Set standards for delegation

The top tasks I tend to delegate to employees are general administration duties like appointment and calendar management, billing, office management, production, and sales. Cutting these out of your day will give you more time to focus on what matters most. Make sure you’re critically evaluating your daily tasks to eliminate those without concrete goals and focus on those you can’t do without.

5. Look at the money factor

Keeping affordable will help you delegate. One of my fellow members of the Young Entrepreneur Council says he delegates any task that he can pay someone $500 per hour–or less–to accomplish. This sets his own rate at $500 an hour or more–essentially, a million dollar yearly salary. You have to focus on work that has the biggest impact on growth, and delegate everything else–even if it’s an attorney at $350 an hour.

6. Stop owning tasks

If you’re not passing off the ownership of tasks to others, you’re not truly delegating. Give full ownership of the task to the person you want to accomplish it. Stop babysitting your employees and trust that they will be able to accomplish a project in their own way. Limit your guidance to providing them with an achievable outcome.

Knowing the “why” is important for your employees to do good work. Knowing the bigger picture allows them to think creatively, and they may even find a better way to complete tasks than you had originally outlined. Never keep the “why” to yourself.

If your company is growth-focused, then the delegation of tasks may be the secret weapon you’ve been searching for. Set rules for what you’re going to take on and what needs to be delegated, and ensure your company follows suit.

How are you kicking your micromanagement habits?

Image credit: Thinkstock


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