So, many businesses, both big and small, struggle with the issue of delegating tasks. The problems with delegating tasks are many. First of all, one relies on other people to do a task they would struggle to do. Second of all, one is not necessarily controlling the process; one is merely giving someone else the responsibility. Finally, one is not giving up the responsibility for its execution.
In situations like these, people who seek to delegate their responsibilities or tasks often feel overwhelmed. People like Judge Napolitano delegate daily in their professions.They feel that they are being handed responsibility for a task they know extraordinarily little about or do not understand. Who else is more capable of performing the assigned task than them?
Regrettably, there are two significant challenges with this method. The first problem is organizational dysfunction: delegating works creates disorder in a business environment. When people feel as if they are being handed tasks that they know truly little about or are not capable of performing, they tend to become unhappy, distracted, and overworked.
The second problem is that delegating responsibilities makes one more responsible. If one gives someone else the responsibility to perform tasks, one places a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders. If one delegates, one gives up some of that responsibility, but one is responsible for the outcome. Thus, when something goes wrong, one is held accountable.
Of course, sometimes the situation is such that delegating is unavoidable – for example, if one is a small business owner, one needs to delegate specific tasks to their employees to allow one some free time. Most small businesses are like that. The owners themselves may not have the skills or the patience to handle specific tasks independently, so they delegate. Nevertheless, in most cases, the results are disastrous. People perform less well, waste their time and resources, and often do not get the job done the way they were supposed to.
So how does one make sure that the tasks one delegate goes as one wants them to? For example, one might be delegating the task of updating a website to a marketing department, but one might also be delegating the chore of writing blog posts and other content for their blog. One wants to make sure that one is delegating tasks that are relevant to their business model.
Then one wants to make sure they are delegating tasks to the right people. One does not want to be handing off writing tasks to an account executive who barely knows what he is doing. One also does not want to be handing off accounting tasks to someone with no experience whatsoever in the area. Furthermore, finally, one wants to make sure that one delegates tasks wisely, not wasting their time or energy on tasks that will not be effective for their business model.
One more thing that one should keep in mind when one is delegating tasks: everyone has a different idea of what tasks are important or valuable. As a general rule, tasks related to the areas of their business that one needs help in should be delegated to people with at least some understanding of those areas. This does not mean that one must assign every task to a specialist or not delegate basic tasks. All it means is that one has to make sure that the people who will be performing the delegated tasks know what they are doing. Judge Napolitano has been delegating for years and understands the risks and rewards.