Attending Lounge, Entrepreneurship

Delegate and Let Go

Happy New Year from the Hendersons!  Wait…isn’t your last name Wong, you might be thinking?  

This was my big lesson in delegating and learning to accept the end result. 

For the past 11 years, I have always taken care of our Christmas/holiday/New Year’s cards.  This year, however, I was drowning in preparing for Pinnacle, so I asked hubby to order the cards on Black Friday from Minted, to take advantage of the sales.

I sent him the beautifully shot family photo for the card and told him which online company to use.  Then, the series of questions:

“What’s your password?”

“How many cards?”

“Do we need extra?”

“Do you want to print our return address labels on the envelopes?”

“Do we want the custom made stamp?”

All reasonable questions, but this is the hard part of delegating a task you’ve always done.  To explain it to someone else takes time.  And, it is almost always faster to just do it yourself.  So, then I end up taking over.  And, that doesn’t benefit me in the least. Anyone else do this? 

So, I told hubby not to worry about the cards, I’d handle them.

He was adamant that he would handle them because he wanted to help me since I was pretty stressed out last month.  And, it’s important.  All us Type A people, we like things done exactly OUR way.  But, then we become over stressed, exhausted and feel like we are on a continuous hamster wheel.

He spent countless hours fixing all the mailing addresses to our recipients.   He verified every one of them and cleaned the excel list.

But, this one tiny thing escaped his notice.

Our name.

So, our cards have the default name of “The Hendersons”. 

I was at Pinnacle when the cards arrived and hubby send me a picture.  I didn’t even see the error at first.  And, then I thought it was hilarious.

We are so clearly NOT the Hendersons.  Maybe, the Lees.  Or the Chans.  But, not the Hendersons.

Hubby wanted to get them fixed.  I told him we should send them as is, because it showed how much he was trying to help contribute to the family tasks as I’ve gotten busier.

So, if you received our cards in the mail – yes, I know it says the Hendersons.  It’s a little testament to me starting to let go just a bit and allow others to help me.

And, the bigger learning point is learning to delegate. This was a big one for me in my practice about 5 years ago. I was stifling my managers at my clinic. I would delegate, yet I was petrified that something would fall through the cracks (because, let’s face it, when you’re a small business owner, that happens). So, I continuously checked in on my staff. All. The. Time.

That kind of monitoring does not create job satisfaction in staff. In fact, the opposite. I had to learn the proper way to delegate. It doesn’t mean that I don’t follow up at all. But, I use an action grid on the google drive and ask my staff to enter in a reasonable due date for themselves. They also add comments which detail their status. We review this at our biweekly manager’s meeting. But, I don’t harass them about it otherwise.

The thing is, learning to delegate with your staff, is much easier than learning to delegate household tasks. Yet, I’m always complaining about the sheer number of home tasks I’m responsible for – kids schedules, grocery shopping, cooking, organizing extracurriculars and babysitters for date nights. So, if I want things to change, I’m learning I have to change.

Let’s count that at New Year’s Resolution #1, shall we?

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