When you're starting out as leader of a company, you may assume you should be good at everything. You're the head honcho of every department and are responsible for the outcomes of their efforts. You should be taking on more work than everyone else, and you should also be able to do anyone's job with ease. The truth is that the need to be great at everything, and to do everything, can be rooted in imposter syndrome, the feeling that you don't deserve and aren't qualified for the level of success you've achieved. The more inadequate you feel, the more time you'll spend trying to prove your worth at things you struggle with and may not even enjoy. This wasted time could result in lowered performance and sub-par leadership, the exact outcomes you want to avoid.
One of the pivotal steps in your development as a leader is the realization that you're not the best at everything, and that's fine. You must know the operations of your company well, but you don't have to be the foremost expert on each department. If you know the strengths that make you the right leader for your team, you can hire top-notch people to fill in the places where you don't have experience or deep interest. Delegation is the sure path to get your company running at optimal efficiency and quality, and you only need to take a couple of steps to get started.
Name Your Weaknesses
No one relishes the idea of dissecting their weakest attributes, but it can be a liberating experience. If you obsess over everything you're not naturally good at, you'll hold onto tasks that are time-consuming and draining for you, leaving no time or energy to focus on the types of achievements that got you to where you are in the first place. To come to terms with your weaknesses is to know yourself well, and that's a key component of confident leadership.
If you have too much on your plate or don't feel like you're performing as you should be, spend some time identifying the areas where you're unsure or easily frustrated, then decide if pursuing those challenges is beneficial, or even interesting. You may find areas where you want to grow and learn, but there will also be tasks that drain and bore you. Those may be best handed off to someone who has the savvy and the motivation to do them well.
Use Your Strengths
This part is more fun. List the things that you're great at, both naturally and because you've worked hard to develop your skills. Figure out how those strengths benefit your business, and how you can spend the most time using them for the greater good of the company. As you develop ideas that excite you, you'll probably find that you're excited to get some of the less satisfying tasks off your plate.
Once you've identified your strengths, figure out what you need from your team to support you in your new areas of focus. If you need someone to manage a hectic calendar of events, create a budget for your next new product, or write copy for a new advertising campaign, find the best people for each task and set them to work. You'll get the chance to concentrate on what you do best, and so will they.
One of the most important lessons about delegation is that it takes confidence in yourself, and faith in your abilities, to loosen the reins on tasks you dread. When you assign work to your employees, it's not a show of weakness. It's a show of confidence in their abilities, and in your ability to prioritize your strengths. If you learn to delegate well and encourage your team members to do the same, you'll create a culture of confidence, decisiveness, and high-quality performance.