Why you should NOT delegate

If you’ve read any tips by the inspirational speakers, you will find this catchy term resonating between all of them. “Delegating your tasks to others.” It’s a simple idea, leverage other people’s time to do your own bidding. I call it a poor man’s dream of imitating the rich.

Have you ever try that yourself? What happens in reality when you try to delegate some of your tasks to others? They resist right? Not only that, your position will instantly decrease in the social ladder which they measure against. Unless your skill and the amount of tasks you have to perform is incontestable, you’ll be seen as a lazy bastard who’s just looking for a quick way out of an otherwise easy problem.

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t delegate, by all means, if you are a boss of the company, delegate. You are paying your employees for something right? Try and imagine the situation where everyone in your company listened to the same speaker and suddenly choose to delegate all their tasks the next day. What would you get? All the work get handed to the sucker who didn’t go to the seminar the day before. Is it productive? Does it benefit the human race?

Which is why, I believe, that people with the power to delegate, should do so with considerations of others in mind. You should evaluate whether or not to delegate based on a few criteria, I can only speak for myself and list the ones I use for your amusement.

  • Determine whether or not I more efficient than others at this task and based on this efficiency, evaluate the amount of time and the cost of my time against the others. Choose the cheapest route.
  • Will I miss out on a great learning opportunity? Am I trying to delegate because I am afraid of the task?
  • How many times will I encounter the same task in the future? Is the time that it takes to find/persuade someone to take the task better spent on actually completing and perfecting my own efficiency on the particular task?
  • Is it a time critical task? Will the person be able to complete the task within the slack time I give to the task?
  • How much effort do I need in maintaining a good relationship with the person I am delegating my tasks to?

These points are all valid points based on human nature. When people preach a great idea, they often forget about the basic human nature and when you take that into consideration, you will see the risks associated with it. In the case of delegating, you have to understand that human, by nature, will:

  • Resist deadlines
  • Slack off from time to time
  • Feel injustice
  • Get bored
  • Become greedy

So the next time you hear someone preaches how he got to this point by delegating, ask yourself this question. How old is this person? Could it be that they accumulated all these wealth because of compound interest with time?

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