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How To Delegate Without Guilt – 5 Mindset Shifts Leaders Need To Make

Written by: Danielle Levy, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Danielle Levy

As a leader, you understand the importance of delegation. It's a fundamental aspect of your role, allowing you to focus on high-priority tasks and fostering your team's growth. In theory, it all makes sense, but when it comes to putting delegation into practice, some leaders may find themselves grappling with an all-too-familiar feeling: delegation guilt. The thought is that by passing on tasks to your team, you're burdening them even further.

Young Man Talking to a Microphone During a Q and A session.

If you've ever experienced this, rest assured, you're not alone. Let's explore this common challenge and discover how you can delegate without guilt while nurturing your team's development.

Why do we hesitate to delegate?

Delegation guilt often stems from the belief that you're the only one capable of performing a task correctly. It's that little voice in your head saying, "I can do it better and faster myself." The thought of explaining the task to someone else seems daunting, leading you to conclude that handling it solo is the most efficient solution.

Imagine this scenario: You're the CEO of a small business leading a team responsible for an upcoming product launch. You're already stretched thin, and the last thing you want is to burden your team further. To maintain clarity and control, you decide to shoulder additional tasks, believing this is the best approach. However, in reality, you're piling more onto your already extensive to-do list, resulting in reduced productivity.

Caring for your team is undoubtedly an essential aspect of leadership. But when unchecked guilt prevents you from delegating, it becomes a lose-lose situation. You find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, and critical tasks slip through the cracks. What's more, the growth of both your team and your business hangs in the balance.

Shaking off delegation guilt: Five mindset shifts

So, how can you break free from delegation guilt and empower your team? Here are five key mindset shifts to guide you:

1. Challenge your guilt

Start by distinguishing between justified and unjustified guilt. Justified guilt arises when you've violated a norm, serving as a reminder to make amends. However, unjustified guilt often results from overestimating the burden you place on your team. To combat this, ask yourself what's holding you back from delegating. By questioning your guilt, you can begin to dismantle it.

2. Flip the script on delegating

Rather than viewing delegation as a burden, see it as an opportunity for growth. When you delegate effectively, your team thrives, becoming more engaged and satisfied. Remember, it's not about heaping tasks onto them; it's about entrusting them with responsibilities that allow them to shine and have autonomy in their role.

3. You’re not in this alone

If you find yourself hesitant to delegate, take proactive steps to improve your delegation skills. It's about reallocating your time –less doing and more leading and supporting. Begin by assessing which tasks you can delegate or eliminate altogether. Involve your team in this process and guide them along the way. And if you're feeling overwhelmed, seeking guidance from an expert in this area, like a business consultant, can be a game-changer.

4. Protect your team differently

Shielding your team from excessive work doesn't require holding onto everything. There are alternative ways to protect them. Encourage ruthless prioritization, helping your team identify and eliminate low-value tasks. Additionally, be mindful of shielding your team from external demands, especially when senior stakeholders make requests. Stepping in to communicate a well-placed "no" or "not now" can alleviate their burden.

5. Temporary discomfort is ok

Embracing delegation isn't always smooth sailing. There will be bumps along the way, and you might find yourself second-guessing your decision. This is where resilience comes into play. Rather than dwelling on mistakes, practice self-compassion and view them as opportunities for growth. Delegation is essential for your team's development and your overall effectiveness. While it may be uncomfortable initially, the long-term benefits far outweigh the temporary discomfort.

Challenging delegation guilt

But here's the truth: delegation isn't about adding weight to your team's shoulders; it's about empowering them to shine and fostering their autonomy. By challenging your guilt, flipping the script on delegating, and honing your delegation skills, you can unlock the true potential of your team and yourself.

Moreover, you don't have to navigate this journey on your own. Seeking guidance from experts, like business consultants or leadership coaches, can provide invaluable insights and strategies to help you master delegation guilt.

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Danielle Levy Brainz Magazine

Danielle Levy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Danielle Levy is a sought-after business consultant who helps business owners expand with clarity and efficiency. Danielle is also the Founder and CEO of The Boardroom League™, a team of experts providing holistic business consulting and implementation services for entrepreneurs. She holds an MBA, is certified as a Project Management Professional, and is a FG Certified Master Marketer.

Danielle has 15 years of agency experience, helping her bring a unique perspective to all of her clients. A problem solver at heart, she believes in helping business owners go from Chief of Everything Officer to Chief Executive Officer, so they can focus on their vision, instead of being distracted by day-to-day business obligations. By establishing solid business foundations and implementing streamlined systems, Danielle's clients are not only able to regain their freedom but also rediscover the joy of running their businesses.

In 2021, Danielle founded The Boardroom League™ to guide executives turned business owners through current challenges and future advancements by providing bespoke business consulting and implementation. The Boardroom League takes a phased approach to business consulting, offering expertise in a variety of areas; including business leadership, financial guidance, legal advisory, marketing, and more.

In her personal life, Danielle is an energetic mother of two boys, who understands the balance of being both a hockey Mom AND a successful entrepreneur.



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