Aunty B: I don’t know how to let my employee do their job – help!

Dear Aunty B,

I own a consulting business and for four years, it was pretty much just me running the show. I got very good at multi-tasking and being self-sufficient was one of my claims to fame.

Last year I hired an assistant to help me with a growing number of clients. The problem is I’m struggling to allow her to do some of the tasks on her own. It’s gotten to the point where I am still sending out administrative emails and reminders to clients because I want to make sure nothing is missed.

Despite starting the New Year with the best intentions to learn how to delegate, I feel like I am still doing the work I am now paying someone else to do.

Please help.

Control freak,



Dear Control freak,

I’m glad you wrote to me because if this situation carries on for much longer, I fear you won’t have a business left to run.

We’ve all been there. If you want something done properly, do it yourself, right?


Presumably you hired this person because you believe they are capable of doing the tasks that it no longer makes sense for you to do and quite frankly, you’re wasting your money by not letting them do this work.

As the owner of this business you need to spend your time focusing on the things that will make the business grow – not on sending out reminder emails!

As Steven Ford explains over at wattsnext, by not letting go of this work you’re holding yourself and your employee back.

According to Ford, every task or project in your business will fall into one of the following categories: something that must be done by you; something that must be done by you, but they can help; something that can be done by them, but with your oversight; and something they can do unassisted.

“It’s no more complicated than that,” Ford says.

“Your responsibility as a leader is to accurately assign each task to one of those categories and then allocate it accordingly. If you are tempted to do anything that sits within categories three or four yourself, don’t!”

Set aside some time today to think about four things that need to get done this week. Figure out which categories the tasks fit into and then allocate.

Be Smart,

Aunty B


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5 years ago

Good advice as usual from Aunty B. I’d also recommend using your assistant to help divide the tasks – after all, by now they should have a pretty good idea what needs doing and it will help keep them involved. Even better, they’ll be able to identify tasks they can do completely on their own. Management is all about having loose/tight controls – and you need to loosen up a bit. Practice helps!

Hurtle Gear
5 years ago

Of course another critical issue is how you oversight that the job has been done at the end of the week or the end of the month. If you have a system where you check that everything has been done, and it has, three times in a row, it’s easy to assume the assistant has the skills to get things done, then all you have to do is develop the right interval so that you’re still performing due supervision/ diligence.