(Time to read this Blog is about 4.5 minutes)


Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking or smiling:

  1. My Biz Quote of the week:
    “Technology makes it possible for us to continuously improve our business.  But, we must also have the passion and desire to improve…plus a sense of what ‘better’ might look like in every part of our business.  The technology itself is useless without the vision of a better future and the passion to get there.
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    Do you have a ‘story’ that differentiates your business?   Every industry and every market is over-served and under-differentiated.  There are too many other people selling what you sell.  Do you have a story that clearly differentiates your business, makes you memorable and relatable…and shows why you’re the clear ‘wise choice’ for your target customers?   First you have to be a story…and then you have to tell your story.
    Korean Airlines wanted to differentiate themselves through their in-flight meals in First Class and Business Class.  They went to work and created their own organic farm on an island off the south coast of Korea to produce high-quality vegetables and livestock. This gave them a wonderful ‘food quality’ story to tell.
    We learn from stories.  We remember stories.  We connect with stories.  What’s your story…and how will you tell it?  Do the work.
  3. How I can be helpful in 2024:   If you have an industry or company Conference coming up in 2024 where my bottom-line insights on management, marketing and profitability will be helpful, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com. Our most requested Sessions  are:
    1. Accelerate Your Business…the ‘straight goods’ on how to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line…and have a life.’
    2. Create Your Compelling Service Advantage…how to amaze your customers, differentiate your business…and grow your bottom line!’
    3. Winning the Talent Wars…8 essential steps to attracting, developing, leading & engaging a top-performing team.’
    4. “Getting Stuff Done…creating a culture of clarity, commitment, urgency & accountability!”  
    5. Vision Critical…how to manage, innovate and thrive in a very different tomorrow!’
    6. Succession Planning & Exit Strategies…preparing your business and yourself for the most important financial transaction of your life!’
      These programs can be 90-minute Keynotes, or half-day or full-day interactive Sessions. I don’t do ‘canned’ Sessions.  One size does not fit all.  Each program is customized and tailored to deliver your specific outcomes.
      Here’s an attendee comment from my most recent Conference session, “Best, most insightful, most ‘real’ management speaker we’ve had in 30 years!  His complete set of free Management Assessment & Implementation Tools is a huge bonus!”
      I’m easy to reach at donald@donaldcooper.com.
  4. The World’s most powerful Passports. France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and  Spain, have all tied as having the top Passports in the world, measured by providing visa-free access to 194 countries. Canada and the USA are in 7th place with Visa-free access to 188 countries. 
  5. An interesting challenge for our business-owning readers. I’ve often written about the importance of understanding what life’s really like for your target customers.  But what about understanding what life’s really like for your employees?  So, here’s my challenge.  Try living for just 2 weeks on the amount of your average employee’s paycheck.
    Anybody up for that?  If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences.   


Now, to this week’s important topic:


The top 10 reasons why we don’t delegate…and how to fix them: 

One of the biggest problems in many businesses today is that ‘the boss’ won’t delegate. This ‘boss’ could be the business owner, a department manager or a supervisor.  They spend much of their time doing $20 and $30 an hour jobs when they’re paid to do $100 to $500 an hour jobs.  And the key job of planning, communicating, coaching, encouraging, measuring and rewarding the performance of others doesn’t get done. 

The result is that the business lacks clarity, momentum and true leadership. Problems don’t get solved, opportunities get missed, customers get frustrated and go elsewhere, talented, initiative-taking employees leave in frustration and the business slowly grinds to a halt.  Sadly, I see a lot of this in my business coaching work!

So, why does this happen?  Why do ‘bosses’ fail to delegate?  In my 40 years of being in business and coaching other businesses around the world, below are the top 10 reasons for not delegating.  Check off any of these that apply to you, or others on your team:

  1. Fear that someone else won’t do it as well as I would.
    The truth: This means you failed to hire capable people, or failed to properly train the good people that you have hired.
    The fix:  Hire people who are ‘wired’ to succeed and then train, encourage and empower them to help you grow the business.  More about this later.
  2. Fear that someone else will do it differently than me and, of course, my way is the only ‘right’ way.
    The fix:  Simply realize that your way is not the only right way.  Be open to possibilities. 
  3. Fear that someone else might do it better than me and that will embarrass me, or make me look incompetent. I feel threatened by really bright people, so I hire people who know less than I do and who do what they’re told.  And, besides, it feels good to be the ‘go to’ person when problems arise.
    Warning:  ‘We become what we hire’. If we hire 1st rate people, we become a 1st rate business, one recruitment at a time.  If we hire 2nd and 3rd rate people, we become a 2nd or 3rd rate business…and we’re in big trouble!
    The truth:  Hiring, training and empowering people to do it better than you makes you a great Coach and, if there is a heaven, there’s express lane for Coaches.  Coaches create an extraordinary business by helping everyone in it be the best they can be.   
    The fix:  This is a tough one to fix because it deals with the boss’s fundamental insecurity and need to be the source of all knowledge. To grow a business, you must hire talented people in each specific area who know about 10 times more than you do about that specific area.
    If you can’t overcome this fundamental insecurity, the business will remain small and mediocre…and then, likely, die.
  4. If I delegate, I’ll lose control.
    The fix: For help with this one, Click Here to download my Biz Tool #B-26, ‘How to delegate, get more done and grow your  people…without losing control:’ 
  5. A fundamental belief that, ‘You can’t find good people anymore’, so I’ve given up looking for them. I just hire whoever shows up for an interview.
    The truth:  ‘The best people have to work for somebody…it’s just that you have to deserve them.’
    The fix: Change your mindset and improve your employment experience, career opportunities and business culture to deserve the people you need.  Specifically, how will you do that?
    Get competitive with your pay.  Pay more and expect more. And remember that people have ‘4 Currencies’ in their lives.  A ‘currency’ is anything of value to people that they don’t have enough of.  The ‘4 Currencies’ in your employees’ lives are money, time, feeling safe (physically & emotionally safe) and feeling special.  Be sure to ‘pay’ them with all 4 ‘Currencies’.  Money alone is not enough.
  6. I / we don’t have the ability or process to spot and identify the top talent we need, so we don’t get the top performers to whom we can delegate.
    The fix:  Just like in sports, your ability to be a ‘Talent Scout’ is one of the most important skills you can develop.  First off, be clear about the talent, experience, skill, attitude, energy level and personality that you need in each position in the business.

    Create a Job Description that states the outcomes to be delivered by the person in that position and the key activities required to deliver those outcomes.  Most Job Descriptions focus on activities only, rather than outcomes…and that’s a big mistake!

    Then, create a list of interview questions to ask to determine if the candidates you’re interviewing have the qualities you need.  The are screening tests, like ‘Predictive Success’ that reliably predict the likelihood of performance success and fit with your culture.

    If you’re not big enough to need or afford a full-time HR professional, can you hire an experienced local HR freelancer to help with specific projects?  These people exist and they’re a hugely valuable resource.

  7. We have high staff turnover.  Just when someone gets to the point where I could delegate to them…they leave.
    The fix:  Fix your employment experience, career opportunities and business culture so that good people want to stay and contribute. This is easier said than done…but you have to do it, or the business will die. For help with this, Click Here to download my Biz Tool  #B-18,  ’14 Keys to Creating A Winning Culture.’ 
  8. I don’t have time to train people. It’s just easier to do it myself.
    Note:  The problem with this is that you can’t grow our business without growing your people.  One of the top reasons that good people quit is because they’re not being trained, developed and encouraged to grow.
    The fix:  Initially, it does take more time to train people to take on a new project or responsibility, just like it takes more time to wash your car with your 8-year-old than it does to just wash it yourself. Teaching new skills and nurturing  judgement and confidence takes time.  But, in the longer term you’ve freed up time to plan, manage and have a life while helping and encouraging another human being to grow…and that’s a beautiful thing!
  9. I don’t delegate certain tasks because I feel comfortable doing them myself. They keep me too busy to tackle the more difficult, high-value tasks that I really should be doing…but witch I’m not sure how to handle.
    The fix:  Making the transition from being a ‘player’ to being a ‘coach’ is not easy…but that’s what’s needed here.
    ‘Playing’ and ‘coaching’ are two completely different skill sets. You need to grow and develop as a manager and leader (coach) and for that, you’ll likely need outside coaching.  This is a big part of what I do with clients, so we can chat…or you may have other possibilities in mind.  
  10. I don’t delegate certain tasks because they keep me busy so I don’t have to go home to an unhappy situation. The business has become my ‘neat fort’ and I need to keep it that way. The business is where I feel safe, secure, important, comfortable and in control.
    The fix:  This is another very tough one, but I see it a lot. It’s another area in which I’ve helped several clients.  It needs to be addressed but ‘The fix’ requires much more of a conversation that we have time for here.    

So, there are the 10 top reasons for not delegating.  Which ones sound most like your situation? What will you do to fix what needs fixing…and when will you start?  If you’d like to chat, I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com.

That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and profitability.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.


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