I had a long day of coaching, training, and podcasting and I was looking forward to unwinding at home that evening, believe it or not, by getting out and doing some yard work. Immediately after dinner, I told my wife and three kids, “I am going outside to mow the lawn.”
I changed into my yard work outfit, put my headphones in, fired up some Alan Jackson and started with some tree clipping. I was deep into it, sweating hard, and feeling very productive.
Then, my wife sent my 10-year-old son out to help me. I immediately felt a sinking feeling in my stomach…
“Now what,” I thought to myself. “I have to stop what I’m doing to get him involved? I am being so productive right now, this is going to really set me back.”
So, I ignored my son for a while. He went into the garage and fumbled with the weight set. Finally, it hit me. At the Engineering Management Institute, I spend a lot of my time coaching and training engineers on how to be more productive by delegating effectively. The biggest barrier that engineers and other professionals have when it comes to delegating is holding on to the tasks for too long. They take on the mentality of, “It will take me longer to show him or her how to do it. It will be faster if I just do it myself.”
You can get away with that mentality for a little while in your career, but if you really want to develop professionally and climb the ranks in your firm, you will have to let go of that philosophy and rigorously delegate every task that you shouldn’t be doing.