Today I am going to be talking about delegation and how to delegate for success. When I first joined the National Guard, through Basic Training and through all my National Guard career, I was always delegated to, meaning that I was the private who was tasked with cleaning the latrines, otherwise known as the bathrooms, or having to do all the little details that our squad leaders or platoon sergeants did not do. That was just the natural chain of command of how the military worked. That was the role that I was pretty much accustomed to.
Eventually I became a sergeant for a short time. Then when we got the word that we were going to be deployed, I was given what was called a field promotion. (We had lost most of our unit due to many troops providing security to the local Air Force bases and there just happened to be a slot that opened. Just for the record, never in my life did I ever plan on higher than a E-5 sergeant). I was promoted from E5 to E6 which was staff sergeant. I was now SSG Rose. I must admit that it had a nice ring to it. :)
Getting promoted to staff sergeant also meant that I then became a squad leader, so then I was in charge of 9 other guys. Instead of being delegated to, I then became the delegator. That was just a whole new concept to me because I was always used to doing it myself. Then having to rely on someone to complete the task and having the faith that they would do so and do so effectively and efficiently, that was a whole new world for me.
Here is the thing in the Army though, say I had my team leaders which would have been my sergeants or the other soldiers underneath me, if I delegated a task to them and they didn’t do it – then guess what? Not only did they get in trouble, but I was also held accountable because they were my troops. That took delegation to the extreme.
What to Delegate?
When it comes to your finances and trying to get in control of your financial life, you have to be able to delegate the things that you are not capable of doing or you are just not very efficient at. Let me give you an example.
Budgeting is one of my vices – I mean I hate it! I know in the book I talk about budgeting. I know in the book I even talk about how much I hate it. It is just not me. You are probably thinking, “Jeff, you’re a finance guy. You should like budgeting.” Maybe I should, but I will just flat out admit I hate budgeting. Prior to my wife, the way that I knew how much was in my checking account was by going to the ATM and pulling out $40 and seeing what the balance was on my ATM receipt. Yes, I know that was horrible, but I was young, I was stupid, that is just how I did it.
Delegate to the People Who Thrive With It
Introducing my wife — she budgets almost to the penny. She keeps tabs on our checking account. She knows what is going on with our finances at every step of the way. It was just a natural fit for me to delegate that portion of our finances to her. First, she likes to do it, and if someone likes to do it, and they are efficient it, then why not let them handle it? I handle more the investment side. I handle our retirement accounts, IRAs, our college savings accounts, etc. That is my thing. That is what I am comfortable with. That is what I enjoy doing. That is delegated to me.
Focus Your Efforts Where You’re Most Comfortable and Competent
As my kids get older, hopefully there will be things I will be able to delegate to them to be able to help out in our lives financially, whether it be chores or just little things to kind of help them out and give them some sense of responsibility.
Delegation in Your Life
When you look at your life and the things that you are trying to accomplish, if you are not good at something, then stop kidding yourself and don’t force yourself to do something (unless there is no one else to do it). If there is no one else to delegate to, then someone is going to have to suck it up. You can’t delegate everything. There are some things you do have to do yourself. If there is someone in your family that has a knack for whatever that might be, then delegate it to them. Give them the responsibility. Let them excel so that they are able to do it, and as a team you will be able to function and complete the task that much more successfully. Don’t be afraid to delegate. It actually helps out immensely.
In the military it was always delegation. Whenever we were in Iraq, I would constantly delegate to my team leaders on tasks. I knew these guys would always come through for me. Now, me being in charge of them did not mean that I would just delegate the task and forget about it. Ever so often you do have to go back, check, and make sure everything is on the up and up.
There is always that line of crossing of micromanaging or just making sure the job gets done. But, after a few times of just delegating the task and then checking up to make sure it was done and after a few times if they come through, then you don’t have to watch every single step. But, ever so often you might just want to check up just to make sure that they know what is going on and that everyone is on the same page. That ultimately will lead to success. So, don’t be afraid to delegate. Delegating will help you win.