Why is delegating so difficult; I really, really want to do it!

This week we’re highlighting three factors that CAP our ability to delegate, even when we know we can and should. Does your Mirror Mirror on the Wall reflect one, two or THREE of these factors back at you?

Recognizing these factors can help us unCAP our willingness to delegate – Control, Awareness, Perception


Managers and leaders often hesitate to delegate because it means giving up control. Control can range from the intricacies in process to the delivery of a final product. Delegating often requires us to accept that the job might be accomplished differently than we would have liked, gone down a different path than we would have traveled, and for some of us, the risk or fear of relinquishing this control feels greater than the reward for having delegated the job. This fear is usually unfounded.


Most of us are high achievers, achieving great things, because we’ve worked hard and we’ve done the hard WORK. More often than not, we don’t recognize what we can and should delegate. We’re simply accustomed to doing all the things. Sometimes it takes having colleagues and direct reports push back and inform us that they really can take on the task. We might be moving too fast, think we can do it quickly, or pigeon hole folks into doing certain tasks over others. The vast majority of people we work with are more than capable and willing to learn new things and take on interesting challenges. Be aware of this trap and let them do it!


Perception is twofold. As a successful leader you may struggle with the perception that if you delegate, you’re somehow admitting that you are unable to complete a job or you’re overwhelmed, not managing your time and productivity well, or maybe you feel the need to continue to prove your worth. Think honestly for a moment – those are probably unrealistic thoughts and are more than likely distortions to your thinking – so CAP those fears if you can. The B side of perception is thinking others might feel like you’re dumping on them or distributing menial or undesired tasks that are above your pay grade. That might actually be true; just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD be doing it. You know your worth, value, and “hourly rate” – and if you don’t, you can figure that out with basic math and your compensation. So ask yourself – is this task worth my value? If not, don’t do it, delegate it and don’t concern yourself with the perception you think others might have as a result.

If addressed today, which of these three factors would help you in your delegation efforts?

Do we have a session scheduled today?

  • Yes…get ready to feel awesome and accomplished as we tackle this together! 🤗 🤗
  • No…rut row, if only you had a Thought Partner to work through mindsets like these, to find more time in your day, while also successfully growing your people! 🧐🤔

(psst…we should talk – or you should generously delegate the reading of this email to someone who really, really needs a Thought Partner!)

(Our February focus is about exploring issues with Control and Delegation. Tune in each Friday in February to work on your inner Control Freak!)