Delegate or Debilitate

Steffan, HVAC Foreman for Piper Mechanical, a professional full mechanical company including plumbing, hydronics and HVAC based out of Vancouver, WA, told Session 9B of the Leadership Development Lab:

“Three weeks ago, on my current project, I was feeling overwhelmed and overworked. I had an apprentice working on the routine tasks. I felt like I had to tackle the more complex parts of our job.

But I really didn’t have the capacity, the “bandwidth” to do it all myself. I didn’t trust that my apprentice could perform certain roles properly and I felt like I was the only one who could do it, the ‘if you want the job done right, do it yourself‘ syndrome. After learning Turbo’s 3-Step training process, I decided enough was enough. Time for me to delegate!

“This particular task was hooking up refrigerant lines to a branch distribution box. First, I showed and explained to him each step for making the connections. Then I talked him through each step as I watched him do it. Just to build our mutual confidence, I asked him to hook up a third line as he told me what he was doing. I told him he was more than ready; he was off and running. I checked up on him after awhile and coached him through some of the fine points.

“After training, and delegating the hose hook ups, I felt a sense of relief. I could see he had a renewed sense of purpose and confidence, too. He was able to tie in the remaining two boxes without any assistance from me, greatly reducing my workload. This allowed me to focus on more pressing matters. If I had delegated the refrigerant lines to my apprentice at the start of the project, I wouldn’t feel so stressed and overworked. If only I had acted sooner, placed more responsibility in my apprentice’s hands!

“The lesson I learned from this experience is give up trying to control everything, to trust others. I’m not the only one who can learn how to do ‘everything.’

“The action I call on you to take is to put more faith in the others around you and show your confidence and trust by training and delegating to them.

“The benefit you will gain is a more empowered team, less stress, and more joy in your work.”

“Name one job you do that you could delegate!”