(Time to read this Blog is about 4 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:  
    “While watching Disney’s Lion King last week, it occurred to me that the key message of its iconic song ‘The Circle of Life’ is a myth.  Life is not a circle.  Life is actually an upward or a downward spiral. 
    An upward spiral of giving value, energy, respect, insight and joy to others, who will then uplift and re-energize you and others in return.  Or, life is a downward spiral of taking from others; disrespecting, stressing and depressing others, who will then disrespect and suck the energy out of you and others as payback.  So, which spiral do you choose for your life?”   
    …Donald Cooper.
  2. Quick Biz Tip:
    It’s time for a mid-year business check-up.
    As we approach the half-way mark for 2023, have you done a check-up on your business?  Are you on track with sales, profitability, staffing, training, product development, customer service commitments, environmental commitments, systems improvement, commitments to your team, inventory management, marketing and promotion?
    Whatever it is that needed to get done in the first six months, did it happen?  If not…why not?  Who or what is really holding you back…and what are you doing to fix that?
    There are only six months and two weeks to go in 2023.  Will you achieve your commitments by the end of the year, or will you end up on December 31st creating excuses for what didn’t happen?
  3. That’s a lot of diapers. Babies use about 5,000 disposable diapers in the first 2 years of life. That’s almost $2,000 for diapers.  No wonder major diaper brands give starter packs of their product to Maternity Wards to hand out to new Mothers.
  4. I have one Biz Coaching slot open. I’ve wrapped up working with one of my Biz Coaching clients.  We’ve accomplished all that we set out to do, plus many items they didn’t know needed a tune up. 
    If you’d like help in improving clarity, management, efficiency, your compelling customer value, a more engaged team and improved profitability, perhaps we should chat about possibilities and outcomes.
    Also, if you’re looking for a graceful and profitable exit from your business, perhaps we should talk.
    If you need help sorting out challenges with your family business or partnership, we should definitely talk.  I’m easy to find at donald@donaldcooper.com.


Now, to this week’s important topic:

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

  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, download my Biz Tool #B-26, ‘How to delegate, get more done and grow your  people…without losing control:’  Click Here.
  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.  Are there screening tests 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 HR freelancer to help with specific projects?
  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, download my Biz Tool #B-18,  ’14 Keys to Creating A Winning Culture.’  Click Here.
  8. I don’t have time to train people. It’s just easier to do it myself.
    Note:  The problem with this that we can’t grow our business without growing our 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?


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.

One Response to Top 10 reasons why we don’t delegate…and how to fix them:
  1. […] watching Disney’s The Lion King, consultant Donald Cooper realized the key message of the iconic song, The Circle of Life, is a myth. Life is not a circle but an […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for Donald's Free!
"Straight Talk" Business Coach Blog

Sign up to get valuable and insightful tips weekly!
Simple Share ButtonsIt's only fair to share
Simple Share Buttons