Delegation: My Balancing Act as Bolder's Founder



Hi, I'm Masha, founder of Bolder. Our goal? Build brands that make a difference in tech, sustainability, and social impact. As the captain of this ship, my hands are full - managing an international team, keeping clients happy, and running a successful business. But, the trickiest part? Knowing when to hold on and when to let go. In other words, mastering delegation.

My background

My journey in branding and strategy over the last decade led me to start Bolder. Now, I lead a fantastic team scattered from Madrid to Calcutta. Every step of the way has taught me something new, but one lesson was harder than the rest: learning to delegate.

The Struggle with Trust and Delegation

Leaders want to be in control. It's natural. But trying to do everything isn't just unrealistic - it's unhealthy. Too many managers are overworking (58% work over 40 hours a week - Hubspot, 2023), and burnout is real.

So, delegation isn't just smart - it's a lifesaver. Yet, according to Gallup (2023), only a quarter of us feel good at it. We're not giving up control when we delegate - we're sharing responsibility with a team we trust. Accepting we can't do it all is not just okay; it's crucial.

The Three cycles

My journey so far has seen me wear many hats and chase evolving purposes. Every change comes with its own set of hurdles - be they delegation, management, or consulting.

It's not that these skills are alien to me. They're just sleeping giants within, waiting to be awoken and guided. It's like learning to run again after a long hiatus or retraining your brain to see when you've lost sight. You keep practicing, touching each point on your hand with your eyes shut, until suddenly - click! - the connections spark to life.

The first hurdle, delegation, is a tough one. It's hard to find people who can do everything just as you would. So, here's to all of us who've wrestled with this one - we're in this together!

Then comes management, the second act. Suddenly, you're not the one 'doing'. Everyone's working, and you're... what? Attending meetings? It feels like floating - where's the work you can see and measure?

The last act is consulting. Now, you're not just part of the process - you're a cog in the machine churning out experiences. These experiences are birthed inside and outside people, linking up in intricate, unseen ways. And you, too, change each time because, without your growth, the machine stalls. You learn to give in to the process.

These hurdles exist both in logical and illogical spaces. You can study how to jump into each one, from learning the ropes of delegation and management to honing your coaching skills. But in the end, you have to keep 'touching the points on your hand', until - click! - everything clicks into place.

Part 1: Delegation

Delegation can feel like a high-wire act. It's natural to think, "No one can do this task better than me." But here's how I learned to step off that wire and trust my team:

Taming the Perfectionist Within

We all have that inner perfectionist, right? The one that says everything must be spot on. But here's a secret - if your first draft is perfect, you've probably spent too much time on it. So, give that perfectionist a break.

Perfect is not Always Practical

Here's another mantra I repeat often - 'perfect' doesn't mean 'practical'. A task doesn't have to be flawless to get the job done. It's about progress, not perfection.

You Don't Know It All, and That's Okay

Accept that your expertise has limits. You won't always have the best solution, and that's okay. Delegating can open doors to fresh ideas and smarter ways of working.

Failure is Your Friend

Here's the real kicker - the more you try, the more likely you are to fail. And that's a good thing. Each failed idea brings you closer to the one that works. So, instead of aiming for immediate success, set targets like "discover 10 ideas that don't work". You'll stumble upon a winner before you know it.

Part 2: Management

As a manager, it can feel like you're always fielding problems while the wins slip by unnoticed. Here's how I learned to flip that script:

Soak Up the Good Vibes

Make it a point to tap into the positive currents - client feedback, fresh inquiries, and payments coming in. This helps keep spirits high and burnout at bay.

Remember You're Valuable

Remind yourself regularly of the critical role you play. Whether it's setting the vision, keeping the team on point, or making sure everyone is focused on the essentials and not side-tracked by unnecessary tasks.

Encourage Open Communication

Cultivate an environment where ideas, concerns, and questions can be openly discussed. This promotes transparency and fosters a sense of trust within the team.

Empower Decision-Making

Encourage team members to make decisions in their area of expertise. This shows that you trust their judgment, which can significantly boost their confidence and commitment.

Foster a Culture of Innovation

Encourage your team to think outside the box and take calculated risks. This not only leads to creative solutions but also makes your team members feel valued and engaged.

Show Real Appreciation

Recognize and appreciate your team's efforts, big and small. This not only makes them feel valued but also motivates them to continue delivering their best.

Part 3: Mentorship: From Ideas to Impact

Being a mentor is a critical part of leadership. But how do you keep your mentoring up a notch?

Make Your Thoughts Tangible

One of the best ways to level up your mentorship is by turning your ideas into something real. Write articles, keep a blog, publish books, give talks, and create courses. When you turn your insights and experiences into formats that others can access and share, your intangible ideas suddenly have a tangible impact.

Encourage Self-Reliance

The goal of mentorship isn't to create clones of yourself but to guide your mentees toward becoming independent thinkers and decision-makers. Encourage them to find their own answers and develop their unique style and approach.

Active Listening

One of the most valuable gifts you can give as a mentor is your attention. Practice active listening, be fully present during conversations, and strive to understand before being understood. This creates a safe space for your mentees to share their thoughts and ideas.

Provide Constructive Feedback

Feedback is essential for growth. Aim to provide feedback that is specific, actionable, and timely. Celebrate their successes but also point out areas they can improve, always framing it as an opportunity for development.

Leadership has its fair share of bumps - learning to delegate, accepting the weightlessness of management, and embracing the sometimes elusive role of a mentor. Perfection isn't the goal, progress is. It's okay not to have all the answers and to fail occasionally. That's how we learn and evolve. Embrace the journey, with its highs and lows. Encourage your team to do the same. Build a culture that celebrates wins, learns from losses, and consistently strives for improvement. As leaders, the impact we make on our team members' lives and careers is our true legacy.

So, remember - it's not about having the right answers but asking the right questions, listening, and facilitating growth. It's not about doing things right, but doing the right things. As we build brands that shape the future, we are also shaping ourselves and our teams to be resilient, innovative, and impactful.

Masha, Bolder agency Founder

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