The Cost of Not Delegating and Elevating

Most leaders struggle with delegation. They also struggle with elevating themselves and those around them to their highest and best use. Whether leaders realize it or not, their failure to master the Delegate and Elevate® tool affects the bottom line of the company. There are real costs to not delegating and elevating, and the totals may shock you.

Determining What to Delegate

Everyone has natural talents and abilities that operate in their sweet spot or Personal Core Focus. (Here’s a tutorial on how to find yours.)

To start, create a laundry list of all the ways you spend your time. Then, use the Delegate and Elevate tool to sort that time into quadrants based on how much you like to do them and how well you do them: 

  • Love Doing / Great at Doing
  • Like Doing / Good at Doing
  • Don’t Like Doing / Good at Doing
  • Don’t Like Doing / Not Good at Doing

Now you have your list! Your goal is to spend as much of your time as possible in the top two quadrants (love/like doing). To do that, you have to take some other things off your plate. 

Select one thing from the “Don’t Like” categories (bottom row). Where are you wasting time?

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Impact on the Bottom Line

Let’s try an exercise. Start by estimating the time spent each week on that one thing you’re willing to let go of. It may only be 5 minutes here or 30 minutes there, but you’re missing the opportunity to do more of what you really enjoy about your role. And it’s costing you and the business. 

When I do this exercise with leadership teams, those hours really add up. For example, for a leadership team with six members, if you add up the time each person is spending on just one task they don’t like and aren’t good at doing, it can average about 7.5 hours total each week. 

If you do the math, that adds up to nine weeks of lost productivity every year at a cost of approximately $187,000! Let that sink in. That’s real money. 

Determining Who to Elevate

So we agree we’d like the Leadership Team to spend those nine weeks better each year. That means those lower-quadrant tasks need to be taken off their plate. 

So, let’s look at your plate now. Go back to that one thing you’ve identified to take off your plate. Think about what business needs this activity fulfills and if it’s being done in the most efficient way possible. 

Can you automate this task? Is it even necessary to continue doing it? Often, we get in the habit of doing something, and we’re not even sure why. “The way we’ve always done it” is the kiss of death for an entrepreneurial company. 

If you cannot automate or eliminate this task, it’s time to start searching for a “who.” Do you have a team member who has this task within their Personal Core Focus, or can you hire one?

Even if it’s something you really hate doing, there is someone somewhere who would happily do this task. Once you find your who, transition the task ASAP. 

Now, you can truly elevate the value you bring to your team. 


Humans have a way of changing. So, just because you do this exercise once, you’re not done forever. Next quarter, reassess your tasks in the Delegate and Elevate tool again and pick another lower-quadrant task to get off your plate. 

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