Delegating as a Leader - 3 Tips from CEO’s, Founders, and Business Owners that all Leaders can Use

Derek Notman |

3 Tips from CEO’s, Founders, and Business Owners that all Leaders can Use

Being a leader means you have a lot of demands pulling at your time and resources, usually from every direction!  As a virtual CFP that specializes helping CEO’s, Founders, and Business owners I have compiled a list of the top delegation tips they use to be super successful.  They use these strategies to delegate all manner of tasks so they can focus on doing what they do best.  We can all learn from them and use these strategies in our own lives!

If you are a CEO, Founder, or Business Owner looking to get more of your time back and accomplish more with it then you need to embrace the following tips to become a delegation master!

Delegation Tip 1

Define your role within the business.

Lots of business leaders usually start off by doing all manner of tasks to start and/or scale the business they are working in.  This can lead to confusion later on as you start to hire more employees.  It also can lead to internal control issues since you may not be ready or willing to give up control of a particular task or responsibility. 

Part of being a CEO is to surround yourself with experts.  They can also be referred to as SME’s (subject matter experts).  Instead of trying to be the jack of all trades to the business most leaders understand they can’t do everything so instead of trying to they find the best people to fill the roles and needs of the business at any given time.

Knowing your role as a business leader and finding experts to do everything you shouldn’t be doing not only saves you time but also mental stress!  Now you can use this extra time to focus on the big picture projects and initiatives for the business as you steer it towards exponential growth.  Now how cool is this?!

Delegation Tip 2

Don’t micro-manage.

As a founder, CEO, or business owner you are ultimately responsible for the health and growth of the business but that doesn’t mean you need to stick your nose into every single item that all of your team members are working on.

Part of hiring the experts is that you should be able to rely on them to execute all of the tasks you have assigned to them.  If you tell them to do something but then hover over their shoulder every step of the way it will waste both of your time and will not instill a vote of confidence in the SME you hired to help you in the first place.  This odd dynamic leads to lower productivity and more stress for both of you.

Instead you should check in regularly with your expert team members to see how they are progressing and if they are having any challenges that you can help them work through.

By letting your team do what they do best it frees up your time and mental energy to focus on the big picture for your company.  I have found this is where business leaders thrive since most of them are “idea” people and love to create and then build a team to execute their vision.

Delegation Tip 3

Inspire, Educate, and Empower your team.

In order for your team of experts to truly thrive and help you bring your vision to fruition you need to focus on creating an environment that allows them to do just that, thrive!

First, they should be inspired.  They should be clued into what the vision of the company is and how they specifically are there to help make that vision a reality.  This will not only inspire them but also have them “buy in” to your vision since they see you value them and that they have an important role to play.  No matter if they are an entry level employee or part of your executive team, they all need to be inspired and feel like they are part of something greater.

Secondly, they need to be educated.  Now that they have bought in to your vision, they will need to be educated on what exactly their tasks are to be.  Where will they work?  What are they responsible for each day?  Who will they report to?  How much freedom do they have to do their job?  Give them these details and more so they can flourish in their role.

Thirdly, empower them.  Give them the freedom of choice and creativity.  You may have defined the role and are willing to let them execute on the tasks assigned to them without checking in on them every 2 minutes, but they should also feel empowered to have some creativity.  Chances are they are better at this role than you would be and will have insights and suggestions on how to improve what they are doing which in turn is great for the business.

Bonus Delegation Tip

Encourage and promote open communication

Strong communication could be considered a cornerstone of a successful business.  Most of us have heard of Elon Musk and his communication style at Tesla.  I think he said it best in an internal letter he sent to his employees which was quoted in this Business Insider article saying “Communication should travel via the shortest path necessary to get the job done, not through the 'chain of command'. Any manager who attempts to enforce chain of command communication will soon find themselves working elsewhere.”

He sums it up by saying “If you need to get in touch with someone, do so directly.”  Not only will this reduce the time it takes to get things done but it also makes everyone feel like they are on the same team instead of just being a peg on the totem pole.

Another great example can be found in this Harvard Business Review article that talks about knowing when to say “yes” and “no” among some other strategies that have worked for business leaders.

Can You Delegate as a Leader?

The most common challenge that CEO’s, Founders, and Business Owners face when looking to delegate is their mindset.  If they can recognize that they don’t need to do EVERYTHING and that to truly scale their business they need to build a Rockstar team then they can go on to do amazing things while taking the whole team on an exciting journey together.  Sounds pretty cool, right?!

I hope you found these tips on delegating as a leader helpful and that you are able to take your business to the next level because of it.