And it’s hurting their businesses. Overworked bosses tend to run underperforming companies.
So it’s time to lighten the load by empowering the rest of your team to do more.
These 10 delegating tips from super-successful business leaders will show you how. They were put together by business financing firm OnDeck, who also added practical advice on integrating them into your corporate culture.
Tip 1: Prioritize
Mark Zuckerberg starts every workday by figuring out his most important task. Everything else gets delegated
It allows the Facebook founder to zero in on business areas where he can add the most value. It ensures Zuckerberg is always using his limited time effectively.
Identify “job number one” using the Eisenhower Matrix. It’s a time-management framework to help you prioritize tasks according to their urgency and importance.
Tip 2: Decide what not to do
The late Apple visionary Steve Jobs took a similar approach to delegation. For Jobs, deciding what not to do is just as important as deciding what to do.
Again, this is about maximizing your time and brain power. It also creates the space to focus on bigger-picture stuff, like strategy and long-term growth.
There’s value in the hands-on approach. But you can’t captain a ship if you’re always down in the hull fixing leaks.
Tip 3: Let it go
Spanx CEO Sara Blakeley believes start-up bosses and leaders should delegate quickly and often.
This isn’t easy to do, especially if you built the business all by yourself.
But if you want it to grow, you have to trust others with your business baby.
Blakeley advises taking the 80% approach, i.e. if someone can do the job 80% as well as you can, then hand it over to them.
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of productivity; sometimes good enough is actually good enough.
Tip 4: Ditch the micro-management
A company leader needs a strong vision of where they want their business to go. But there isn’t just one road leading to that long-term goal.
Amazon boss and part-time space explorer Jeff Bezos tells business founders to be stubborn on the vision but always flexible on the details.
In other words, do not micromanage; it’s anti-delegation
Set clear expectations on standards and objectives, then take a big step back. Empower your team members to do their thing in their way. This is how you get the best work out of the best people.
Tip 5: Encourage creativity
Rising Team CEO Jennifer Dulski agrees with the hands-off management style.
She says it’s essential if you want your team to devise creative ways of achieving their (and your) business objectives.
Tip 6: Open your mind
You might be the boss. But that doesn’t mean your ideas will always be the best ideas.
Sorry. But it’s true.
The best business leaders know this. The world’s most successful CEOs embrace it,
So follow Bill Gates’ advice and leave your ego out of those boardroom discussions.
Be open-minded when discussing strategy or exchanging feedback with your team. Recognise that you won’t have all the right answers (or even all the right questions.) Doing things differently can also mean doing things better.
Tip 7: Be patient
Patience might not seem like a virtue in a world where everything needs to get done by yesterday.
But Phil Alves, CEO of DevSquad, believes that getting things done right is more important than getting them done fast.
Be flexible with project deadlines and timelines. Expediting tasks could lead to mistakes or oversights, and that could mean starting jobs all over again.
Give your project managers some leeway when they need it. Short-term flexibility can prevent long-term business pain.
Tip 8: Communicate
Carli Communications boss Carla Williams Johnson believes effective feedback is the key to successful delegation.
She urges leaders to praise their staff when they deserve it, encourage them when needed, and offer constructive criticism and feedback if they miss the mark.
But feedback is a two-way process. Encourage staff to share ideas on how you could do a better job. If the feedback is valid, take it on board. You’ll become a better manager and earn the trust of your team.
Tip 9: Keep your door open
Goldman Sachs boss Agostina Pechi is a big fan of the open-door management style.
Agostina encourages her staff to take full responsibility and ownership. And she trusts them to get the job done.
But at the same time, her office door is always open to anyone looking for advice, feedback, guidance, or even a friendly ear willing to listen.
Tip 10: Collaborate
Alterea co-founder Anahita Dalmia has a unique approach to delegation.
She believes delegation becomes natural once you start appreciating the people who work for you as collaborators, rather than just employees.
Dalmia’s vertical management style is about working alongside people, not above or beneath them. It facilitates better communication, openness, and a “we’re all in this together” work culture that encourages everyone to be the best version of themselves.
Top bosses and business leaders never shy away from delegating. Instead, they value it and use it to great effectiveness every single day of the workweek
Start doing the same. Ease your workload, empower your best people, and reach your business goals quicker; that’s the power of effective delegation.