Everyone tells you how important it is to delegate. In fact, there are dozens of books, podcasts and seminars on the subject. Yet, delegation continues to be a real problem for too many, from 2nd year associates to partners. Why is delegation so difficult?
While there are a lot of reasons, the fundamental reality that makes delegation difficult is that no one wants you to. That’s right. While you may hear from others that you should delegate, the reality is that delegation upsets the current system and processes, of which you are a part. It goes like this:
Clients don’t want you to delegate because they know you and want you to do their work. They are comfortable with you and have grown to appreciate you.
Your partners would rather you not delegate because you have earned their confidence. You know the client and the work. If you give the work to someone less competent, they fear that the quality will suffer and no manager or partner wants to face a displeased client.
Finally, YOU don’t want to delegate. After all, you know the client’s situation, expectations and priorities. It’s so much easier to just do it yourself and be assured that it will be done right. Besides, by the time you explain everything to someone else, you could have completed it twice over.
Therefore, you should keep the work to yourself. Then when more challenging work and more responsibility come around, you can say you’re filled to capacity and unable to move up. You can remain comfortable doing the work you know, for the partners who trust you, for the clients who are comfortable with you.
See? You don’t have to delegate.