On a recent business trip, as the evening wound down and a group of colleagues made our way back to the hotel, our lively dinner conversation soon drifted toward the subject of work. And, as I described the next task on my to-do list, my wise friend Marna exclaimed, ‘Better you than me!’
In the quest for success, it’s all too common to fall into the trap of trying to do it all. We carry the weight of endless tasks and responsibilities, convinced that we alone are capable of delivering the desired outcomes. This approach often leads to overwhelming stress, diminishing productivity, low levels of motivation, and missed opportunities for growth and personal development.
The phrase ‘better you than me’ holds within it a transformative power that encourages us to analyse our strengths, acknowledge the capabilities of our team members, and free up valuable time for our goals and pursuits by embracing strategic delegation. By recognising that we cannot be experts in everything and that certain tasks are better suited to the strengths, interests and goals of others, we open ourselves up to a world of unseen potential. Delegation is a powerful strategy that not only lightens our load but also empowers those around us, creating a more harmonious and efficient work environment.
While delegation or handing over tasks and activities to others, is essential to growth, there is one important caveat to take note of. And that is, what is your motivation? When we delegate, we could be motivated by positive factors such as a willingness to develop others. On the other hand, our passing on of tasks or activities could also be motivated by negative factors such as not believing we are capable of doing it.
As important as it is to identify opportunities to delegate, it is equally important to assess our motivation for doing so. Are we driven by fear and self-doubt, believing that we lack the skills or expertise necessary to excel? Or are we positively motivated, recognising that by relinquishing control, we can create space for new opportunities and personal growth? Taking a brief moment to reflect may be enough to identify the motivation behind saying ‘better you than me!’ A quick way to engage thoughtful reflection is to ask yourself the question, is it ‘better you than me?’
By reflecting on this question, you may discover, that in some instances it’s actually ‘better me than you’ – a chance to challenge ourselves, step out of our comfort zones, develop areas of weakness, and acquire new skills or knowledge. Ultimately, the key lies in finding the balance between leveraging the strengths and expertise of others and embracing opportunities that push us to expand our capabilities.
If the weight of multiple responsibilities leaves you feeling burdened and hinders your ability to pursue your goals and passions, it may be time to embrace the idea of ‘better you than me’ and create space for personal growth and productivity. But before you do, consider your motivation for delegation by asking yourself, ‘Is it truly better for someone else to take on this task?’
5 Tips For Implementing BYTM
Firstly, identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of development to help determine which tasks are best suited to others and yourself. Secondly, assess team members’ skills and goals, strategically delegating activities that align with their expertise or development. Third, communicate clearly and delegate in a manner that empowers and fosters growth in others. Next, let go of control, trust your team, and embrace different approaches to completing tasks. Lastly, seek personal growth by tackling challenges with the time you have freed up. Use BYTM to empower your team and make room for your development.
Usha Maharaj CA(SA)
Passionate about women’s empowerment and human potential