Delegating - Can You Afford NOT To? 5 Delegation Myths Busted!

Approximate reading time - 3 minutes

Over the years - I have spoken to many Executives and Executive peer groups on the value of delegating and managing their time. And once we sit down and quantify where their time is going, most are shocked to find that they are wasting as much time as they do every day. Take a look at "The Formula" to see the calculation we start with.

Once we identify the amount of time that is being lost, we then discuss the reasons this is happening. The one we will focus on in this article is Executives need to delegate more!  And for most, this means finding the RIGHT Assistant.

Here are the top 5 reasons I hear from people that do not have an Assistant or are not using them correctly:

• I could do it faster myself.

• Too expensive:

• Not enough for them to do

• Considered a luxury by their boards/peers or staff. 

• Fear of Delegation

I could do it faster myself:

That is a fallacy and I hear that one a lot. Executives are so busy that they don’t feel they have the time to show someone else how to do the task for them. In actuality,  if you showed someone else how to do it, you would never have to do it again - that saves you more time!  I have coached many Executive & Assistant teams where the Executive was very resistant to take the time needed to show their Assistant what they wanted and how to do the task. That could be travel booking, running reports - you name it, I have seen it. However, once they took the time - and they only had to take the time - once - that task was now off the Executive’s plate - EVERY time! That is an investment you can’t afford to pass up. 

Too Expensive:

Depending on the qualifications you need and the items you will delegate - this will determine whether or not you have a full time - part time - virtual or shared assistant. Right there, you now have options in terms of your budget.

 Make a list of the items that you could hand off. Now look at what you can delegate and the cost per hour for you to do these items - vs. the cost per hour that you would pay an assistant - that difference in salary per hour should more than pay for any investment that you would make in an Assistant. If you need to start small and go with a Virtual Assistant or part time Assistant and work your way up as your budgets allow, then do that. The important thing is to start.

Not enough for them to do:

For small businesses or Entrepreneurs, I hear this …  - “Well, I don’t need a full-time Assistant because I only have 2-3 hours a day to delegate. And if I have to pay someone 40 hours a week to sit there - now I’m in the red.”

 You don’t necessarily need a full-time Assistant to get the benefits of having an assistant. They can be full time, part time or even Virtual if that is the best solution for you.Conversely, do you have more than one executive in your office? Because you can share an Assistant with another Executive in your office.  So again - the cost per hour of what the Executives are being paid - vs. the salary for a full-time Assistant to support multiple executives, more than pays for itself. You get to choose your best option to get what you need. You get to decide! 


Some Executives consider having an Assistant a luxury. Especially since the Great Recession. Well, let’s do the cost per hour analysis. How much is your salary per hour vs. what you would pay an Assistant per hour? Your company is not paying you the salary that they are so you can spend your time running reports, booking meetings, creating presentations, etc. Draft out what you want to be done and let the Assistant do the legwork for you.  Your Assistant should be booking your travel, doing research and reporting, running reports, drafting and sending meeting agendas and minutes, etc.

While at first Executives thought an Assistant may have been a luxury - once they go through their list of delegatable tasks, they very quickly realized Assistants were an absolute necessity for the company to run smoothly and efficiently. 

Fear of Delegation

A lot of new executives, start-ups and growing companies are not comfortable with delegating. They are worried about how delegating to an Assistant could be viewed as though they are no longer a servant leader. Being a servant leader is wonderful! To move management and staff interaction toward a more cooperative relationship as opposed to an authoritarian method is great! However, let’s not take this too far. , I see people using it in the context of “I won’t ask anyone to do anything that I can do myself.  Now, this can really be a stumbling block to productivity.  Yes - you CAN do what you ask of your staff - HOWEVER - it doesn’t mean you SHOULD or that it’s the best use of your time. Beware of taking the “Leadership" out of "Servant Leadership.” You need to delegate and empower your staff in order to be an effective leader and to ensure that your company will thrive.

So remember - map out where your time is going, identify those items that you can delegate and start working on the items that only you can do! 

If you need help identifying these items, would like help in finding the RIGHT Assistant, or you would like to improve the productivity between you and your existing Assistant, contact Jennifer Maffei at or