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Slow Down to Speed Up


It’s a paradox.

Counterintuitive, really, and much easier said than done. But it’s essential for business owners who are delegating tasks and responsibilities to others on their team.

(At this point, according to entrepreneurial mythology, I’m supposed to describe myself as a hard-charging, take-no-prisoners business owner operating at 100 miles per hour.)

I am not. Compared to the stereotypical image of entrepreneurs, I am more deliberate, even plodding.

Yet, as I turn over tasks which I’ve handled personally for decades, I keep moving too fast.

Our team is transitioning from me doing “everything” and my staff doing “somethings” to all of us doing the right things. We’re better aligning responsibilities with team members’ individual talents to benefit from the collective team talent.

After several months of transitioning, I’ve learned this is a process and not an event. More to the point, it’s a process involving many events where my decades of experience, information and knowledge is shared with my team.

In the beginning, I thought this could be done quickly and easily.

I was wrong.

I’ve found that *moving quickly slows down progress* while *slowing down speeds up the transition*.

In the beginning, I would say, “here’s how I do this. Now you do it this way.” Too often, I discovered this approach resulted in my team taking something I didn't do very well and doing it worse.

It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but we had to change our approach. Specifically, I had to change my approach.

Now, I slow down and better explain what needs to be done, why it needs to be done and how I did it. Then, I ask my team for feedback, and they usually come up with a better way—a process they helped develop and at least partially own. This approach is yielding better results for us.

How have you successfully delegated tasks to your team?

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