What My 8-Year Old Taught Me About Delegation

You always wanted to start a handmade jewelry business, but have no idea about how to manage the finances?
You dream to start a Podcast but have no clue how the technology works?
You’re overworked but your employees and partners are chilling? 

Does that sound familiar?

Dear friends, we all have our boundaries but is there a way we can realize our dreams despite our limitations? Is it possible?

Until a month back, I was reeling under pressure of personal and professional demands, when someone reminded me what Batman famously said:

“All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.”

Can I ignore my limits too? Can I become limitless. Achieve BIG things. And if so how?

Well, I learnt that the answer lies in learning the Art of Delegation. 

Delegation is the process of assigning and entrusting work to another person.

As I delved deeper into understanding Delegating, I thought of those closest to me, my family members and realized that I had all varieties present at home:

  • Those who keep defaulting but never delegate:

Tanav, have you done your homework 
No, Papa
Do you need help?
No Papa
Would you be able to submit it?
IDK, Papa

That’s my dear twelve year old son, Tanav and perhaps me too! These people have work, don’t know how to do it, and yet they keep defaulting and consider it a crime to ask for help. That, even when others would be happy to extend their helping hand

  • Those who would work themselves to death but won’t delegate:

My candle burns at both the ends, it won’t last the night; But Oh my God and hey my friends, it gives a wonderful light.

They’re overworked, and yet keep taking on more responsibilities eventually burning themselves out. – That’s my better half, Deepti, sincere to the core, always asking to give her more.

  • Those who are perfecting the art of delegation:

Papa, I need to read the morning news at school assembly tomorrow, can you please help me prepare for it?
Brother, can you please help me find my laptop charger?
Mom, I need your help for my art work.

That’s my darling eight year old daughter, Sohana. They delegate and look relaxed and in control. They are able to find time to enjoy, complete their responsibilities and are able to make an impact.

There was a thing or two I could learn about the process of Delegation from my limitless daughter, Sohana.

Here’s what I found I was missing out on:

Where as I would foolishly think that I could do it faster myself, Sohana knows that it would be much quicker if it was delegated

Where as I feel they won’t be able to do it as well as I will. Sohana trusts.

While I consider it a waste of time to clarify and articulate, Sohana is clear and articulates what’s needed and by when. 

When the why is clear, the how appears 

I worried that the person I’ll delegate to will get all the credit. Where as Sohana only focuses on the outcome.

Where as I wasn’t thinking about ‘What is in it for them?’ , she considers that top priority. If I’m helping her with her speech, she knows it gives me utmost satisfaction as I dream of her becoming a great orator. If it’s her brother helping her find her charger, he will in turn get to use her comfy office chair for his class. 

She sets timelines upfront. Papa, I need you to decide the news to be read by 4 PM.

She empathically gives Praise, Feedback and Elevates 

People don’t do what we expect. They do what we inspect with respect.

Sohana’s example shows us that we don’t have to do everything ourselves. And yet, we can achieve anything we set our eyes on.

According to John C. Maxwell, author of Developing the Leaders Around You, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. But if you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”

I would leave you with the following questions:

  • Are you delegating enough to achieve your dreams?
  • What stops you from delegating?
  • What are some of the things you’ll do now to overcome it?

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