As a Christian business owner, do you frequently become frustrated from feeling there just aren’t enough hours in the day to manage and run your business and take care of your family? Fear not – you are not alone.
We may know that we’re out-of-control at the moment, but it’s easy to rationalize that everything will be alright just as soon as we move past today’s immediate urgency. The frustrations resulting from this double-edged sword are inevitable unless we learn to effectively apply the elusive, yet basic concept that Jethro taught Moses: delegate.
Moses found himself in a situation familiar to many of us: he was trying to do all the ‘important stuff’ himself! In his case, Moses had just led the Israelites out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery. On the journey toward Israel, he found himself laboring from early morning until late at night, attempting to resolve the myriad of conflicts that arose (Exodus 18:13–16). His father-in-law, Jethro, upon seeing so many people stand around waiting on Moses’ deliberations from morning until evening, counseled Moses to instead enlist them, instruct them, and share the load with them.
For many of us, the important stuff usually involves daily decisions about what needs to be done at work and at home. We think we’re serving God by personally shouldering much of the responsibility, but as stewards of all that He has entrusted to us, we’re short-changing opportunities to grow our business and the personal development of those around us.
Do you find yourself over-committed, over-worked, and out of time? If this sounds like you, STOP and ask yourself these questions:
- Are you habitually overturning employee’s decisions?
- Do you get your enjoyment from doing familiar tasks?
- Do you presume that your staff can’t or won’t “do it right”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to review and consider your employee’s performance expectations, their ability to perform, their confidence to act, their commitment and their motivation or personal desire. When each of these elements are in place, you can delegate tasks to your trusted staff – allowing time for you to focus on the vision and strategies that are fundamental to the long-term success of your organization (and your life)– and enabling your employees to perform well in your eyes and in reality.
7 Steps to Get You Started with Delegation
- Divide a clean sheet of paper into two sections by drawing a line down the middle of the page (vertically).
- On the left-hand side, number and list each function or task that you now perform in your organization. Do not attempt to prioritize them, simply list as many as you can by thinking through your typical day/week/month/year. Take your time and be thorough.
- Set your list aside for a day or two and pray. Ask God to show you the things that someone else could do (not whether they should be done, but could be done).
- After thoughtful prayer, return to your list and review the items in the left-hand column. For those tasks that can be done by someone else, draw a line through them and move them to the right-hand column.
- For those tasks now in the right hand column, write the name of the person who is or could be responsible for that task, underneath the task.
- Meet with each staff member you can delegate tasks to – and be sure that you are each clear on the task and performance expectations.
- Practice delegation by allowing your staff the right to make decisions and to act in ways that impact company performance, which in turn will empower your team and create a sense of trust and ownership – freeing YOU up to focus more fully on overarching operating performance.
We can lead fruitful lives, living in harmony with God’s plan and priorities – but only when we are willing to empower, engage, and encourage – helping our staff and families to develop into valuable long-term team members. It is well worth the effort and what we are uniquely called to do in our leadership role.
Wondering where you can learn how to apply more Biblical principles to your business and lead it in alignment with your faith? Regardless of how long you’ve been a business leader, you probably still have those days when you are keenly aware of the gaps in your knowledge and experience. The challenge for many of us is that we don’t set aside time to work “on” our business rather than “in” it. We might read books, attend industry seminars or even engage consultants, but we don’t regularly schedule time to focus on big-picture issues. The C12 Group is a unique forum for Christian CEOs and business owners who are intentional about business, ministry and personal growth. For more information and to learn about the benefits of membership, visit C12Group.com.
Lisa V. Cone