Fortune Cookie Friday: Good Executives Learn to Delegate
I never think of myself as an executive. When people ask me what I do for a living, I have to pause and take a deep breath. “I’m a children’s book author and illustrator,” I say. What I really want to say is, “Do you have a moment? I’m a children’s book author and illustrator, owner of Otter Things, creator of I Otter Be®, publisher, marketing director, website developer, and leader of my squirrel army, which will someday aid me in world domination.”
As a writer, I have to wear many hats. Although, homemakers wear just as many hats, maybe even more. Technically, I am an executive. I am responsible for my business, writing, to succeed. Now, I’m not solely responsible, because I have people I delegate various duties to (insert snicker, because I just used the word duties).
I have an editor that reads over my material and, well edits my work. There are the printing companies that provide the finished books, or t-shirts. There is the tax consultant that helps me with my dreaded annual filing and the lawyer that helps with my trademark. These professionals do the work that I am unable to do myself. I am still the one who has to make the decisions.
[themify_quote]Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. – Earl Nightingale[/themify_quote]
Everyone has at least a little executive ability. They may not use it all of the time, but it’s there. Executives aren’t just the President of the United States, or the boss of a huge company. We make decisions in our life that require us to plan and carry out that plan, or sometimes lead others to do it. Parents are “executives” of the household and a coach is an “executive” on the field.
Earl Nightingale, an American motivational speaker and author, said, “Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.” When your mom tells you to take out the trash, she is using her executive ability. It may seem like she’s being cruel. I mean, who really likes taking out the trash? It’s her way of getting tasks done, but she is too busy doing other things.
[themify_quote]Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go – Herman Hesse[/themify_quote]
Executive ability isn’t just delegating; it’s relinquishing control. There are somethings that you just can’t do, or don’t have the time to do. Let’s face it; you need help. I find myself desperately trying to get more time to write and illustrate, but end up working on my finances, improving my marketing, or updating my websites. I need to find someone else to help with that workload, so I can get back to doing what I want to do.
Herman Hesse said, “Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” Unless you have a doctorate in everything, you’ll have to tap into that executive ability and get some help. You may need help when you’re really sick, your car breaks down, pipes burst in your basement, or even struggling with a class. Executive ability is recognizing you can’t do it on your own and doing something about it.
If you’ve ever called the IT department about your computer, consoled in a friend and asked for advice about love, or even subjected yourself to reading the building instructions to your new IKEA furniture, executive ability is prominent in your makeup, as well.