Delegation that works

Michael Sliwinski — №16 with Les McKeown

My company is growing, and together with my CTO and the rest of our team we just crafted a great three to six month plan of what we’re going to do and what goals we’re going to accomplish. Everything sounds great and looks very promising, yet I still need to make sure there isn’t anything standing in our way … like myself. I can’t be the bottleneck.

In the beginning of January, I set out to write down everything I wanted to accomplish this year on both a personal and a business level. After a few hours of writing goals and planning strategy, I had it all figured out. I was proud of myself and presented my work to my wife. She responded quickly, “I’m proud of you, dear, but did you also plan to sleep this year or have you just decided to postpone it until 2014?” At first I didn’t get her joke, but then…

You can’t work non-stop, even with the best intentions

I realized my wife was right: my plans all sounded ambitious, but I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this all by myself. Not by a long shot. I have a life, a family with two kids, and I’m not a robot. Working non-stop is not sustainable (even if I wake up early in the morning). I really love my job, but I love my family, too!

Changing your mindset — Building teams for projects

This is when I changed my mindset. I started revising my plan and thinking about what kind of “teams” can help me achieve each of my goals. Whom would I need to do all of that? Luckily, most of my projects can be done with my existing Nozbe team. I started to rethink my approach and began to delegate more stuff to them. I also began to teach them about delegating so that they could leverage their own expertise and could learn to work “using each other” in a kind of way.

There is still a lot to learn, but I’ve got a great mentor

That’s correct, my good friend and mentor Michael Hyatt has published two fantastic episodes of his podcast about delegating, one about the art of delegating and the other about delegating even if you don’t have a staff featured in Productive! Magazine #4.

He has also published another great blog post about doing what you love, which basically means focusing on your strengths and delegating everything else.

Now let’s practice delegating, synergizing, and growing together!

What I discovered when I started delegating more is that people around me started aligning their goals with mine and happily accepted new responsibilities. Ultimately, it’s all about growth — I want my CTO to be the best CTO there is; I want my programmers to be the best coding ninjas ever; I want my team to be the best it can be.

If I don’t delegate stuff to members of my team, I fail them as a leader, and I hinder their path of growth. You see, it works both ways: when you delegate, you have more time to focus on your strengths, and the “delegatees” grow more thanks to the new challenges and opportunities you give them.

This is something I want to practice and learn this year. I’m finally in the right mindset, and my goals are now within reach.

Michael sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski

Michael Sliwinski is the editor of Productive! Magazine, the founder of Nozbe (a time and project management application for busy professionals), and a best-selling author of the #iPadOnly book.

Visit Michael's blog Follow @MSliwinski on Twitter Check out his book: #iPadOnly