D is for Delegate

DPeople hire me to take over Administrative tasks for them so that they can focus on their core business. I know that sounds really easy, but apparently delegation is a tough job. I had one client whose business was growing by leaps and bounds. She needed help. She needed a LOT of help.  We had outlined the things she would hand over to me. I reminded her. I followed up.  And I waited. And waited.  We finally had a talk and she explained that she was just so used to doing everything herself that the process of having to explain it to someone else just seemed much more difficult than just doing the task herself.  I patiently explained that if she could just explain a task to me ONCE, she’d be freed of having to ever do the task again. Theoretically, she agreed and I felt like I had buy-in, but still, no tasks came.  We eventually talked and parted ways with her decision that maybe she needed someone local. Someone whose physical presence would basically nag her/annoy her into giving things up to be done by someone else.

I’ve had other situations where the person I worked with ended up delegating pretty much the entire day-to-day operation of the business to me.  This has only happened once in my self-employment but it also happened a couple of times in my corporate life.  And it wasn’t too bad (except for they were taking home the Executive salary and I was still getting my Admin. Assistant paycheck even though I was doing the majority of the work!)  But then those folks moved on and the people who took over the position then scaled the job back to just really basic admin tasks and took away all of the authority that I’d had, as well. (This is another “D” word… demotion! And it was also very demoralizing…)

Are you someone who delegates at work? Or a person who gets things delegated to them?