How to Overcome Delegation Hesitation

Trial delegation will give you, and them, confidence and learning.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #386

Play Musical Candidates

You can trial delegate to multiple people. Heck, delegate the same task to several different people in succession. Find out who does the best job. Have them compare notes and train each other. This allows a trial delegation to help people discover the kind of tasks they enjoy and do well. 

You’ll learn who’s the right person for the job, without the challenge of a high-stakes failure on the line. Strategizing ahead using Trial Delegation can save a lot of future fuss and make you look good in the process. 

Try framing the delegation as a positive job development opportunity for everyone involved.

Respect Organizational Levels

If you have minions, trial delegation is easy. After all, it’s part of your job to help them grow and develop. If you need to persuade peers to take on your work for you, it’s trickier.

Try framing the delegation as a positive job development opportunity for everyone involved. Get them eager to take on all your responsibilities in addition to theirs. It worked for Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence, so maybe it can work for you, too. 

Heck, even I, your humble podcaster, Stever Robbins, the Get-It-Done Guy, delegated the writing of this very episode to a large number of tiny mice typing very cutely on even smaller and even cuter keyboards. It’s worked great, with only a few Shakespearean sonnets to wade through before hitting upon this gem of a podcast script!

This Works at Home, Too

Trial delegation isn’t just for work. Heck, soon enough you’ll need to hire neighborhood kids to babysit little precious so you can zip out and catch the opening of the latest new Star Wars movie. So start training them now!

Have your potential babysitter watch the kids at home while you’re there too. You can see how they do in real time. You’ll know if bedtime will find precious sleeping tight in the growth studio, all cozy-covered in warm blankets, or be found screaming and from nose to knees in a mysterious gooey fluid that tastes suspiciously like maple syrup. (We won’t ask how you found out what it tasted like.)

There will be times in your career when things must keep running smoothly while you spend a month overseas negotiating a foreign supplier, or taking that well-earned half-year sabbatical, or welcoming little precious into their personal growth studio. Start preparing now with trial delegation. Delegate while you’re still around, or take mini-trips and see what falls apart in your absence. Then you know what to fix. Fix it, and pretty soon, you’ll be able to leave for months at a time, not be missed, and still take credit for the success of the entire company. That’s called “being a good manager.” It doesn’t suck.

I'm Stever Robbins. I run webinars and other programs to help people be Extraordinarily Productive, and build extraordinary careers. If you want to know more, visit SteverRobbins.com.

Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.