This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

July 24, 2018

How to stop being crushed with work - basic delegation

I've known a lot of successful people who are absolutely crushed by work. That is, they seem to work 24/7 and the "harder they work, the behinder they get". Unlike most people in business, they don't need to advertise, nor do they want to, because they're always just trying to catch up with what they need to do, and there are clients who are waiting for them. I worry about these people, because their success can not only crush them, giving them a nervous breakdown, it can absolutely destroy their business. They need to delegate, and unfortunately many people have no idea how delegation works.

Speaking for myself, I would have never learned how to delegate if I hadn't become a teacher. Delegation simply means giving assignments to people so that they can do work for you. And when you think about it, that's all a teacher does - give assignments, and then sit back while everyone in the class works. And as nice as that sounds, it takes a fair amount of practice to get there. In fact, most people will never even try. My explanations had to be razor sharp, and I needed to follow up, and explain patiently as many times as people needed. Those are the kind of team leaders I liked, and that's who I wanted to be when I grew up.

If this sounds like you: "To get anything done right, you have to do it yourself!" you may never be able to delegate. And there are people who do great work, who are perfectionists on everything. They get flustered and angry if they try to explain what they want, and end up just doing it all themselves. I've known a lot of these people. And if that's you, and you'll never change, I guess there's nothing I can say that will change your mind that most people are idiots who can't do anything right.

Personally, I don't consider people idiots if they don't know what I know. In fact, I've always thought that it's an unreasonable expectation. So if you're still with me, I want you to think of delegation as team-building, with yourself as a leader.

My motto all my life has been "lead, follow, or get the ___ out of the way!", and that means that I don't always have to be a leader. I'm happy to follow, and sometimes I know the best thing for me to do is to get out of the way. If your ego is so big that it needs its own zip code, you probably won't be able to do this, but I don't think your ego is that big. If so, you can stop here.

There are many things that I do really, really well. I'm very good at graphic design, which is my profession. That doesn't make me smarter than people who don't know graphic design, that just makes me knowledgable about one particular thing. I can tell in a heartbeat if you know my industry, and if you don't I don't dismiss you as an idiot. I mean, why should I?

Anyway, beginning delegation means finding people that you respect and asking them to do work. In a classroom these people are paid with grades, and in a business they're paid with money. It's exactly the same thing - assignments are given, the leader follows up gently, and the best workers (which I call superstars) get the highest grades and ultimately the highest pay.

I like having a team, and I've been surrounded by awesome people all of my life. They're part of my team, and I'm part of theirs. Sometimes I delegate, and sometimes I'm delegated to. I like that, and I recommend that you do it, too.

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