Do you find yourself either taking projects away from your subordinates or giving specific step-by-step guidance in order to complete tasks? If so, you might either be a perfectionist or a control-freak. Either is not a character tribute anyone wants. As managers and leaders, we need to find a way to delegate, but we must do it smartly.

From a leadership perspective, there are many benefits to delegation. Empowering employees, learning and growth through experience, and full integration of a team are some of the most obvious benefits. Where smart delegation comes into play is determining what to delegate. And what you delegate is determined by fully assessing the strengths of your team. For instance, I have a great staff of technical experts in the area of critical power, network management, sales, and customer service. I delegate specific tasks based on the knowledge of my team. It seems pretty straightforward.

What if I don’t have someone on my team to dedicate the time or my team lacks the knowledge or experience to solve a problem?  That’s when I need to look outside the company for solutions. For instance, I have a very knowledgeable facilities engineering staff. However, I don’t have anyone on my team with specific experience on the Trane chillers we use to cool our state-of-the-art data center. To compensate we have an ongoing service agreement with Trane to maintain our chillers. This frees up my staff to work on other projects and not worry about our chiller equipment.

In fact, we see this a lot with our customers as they delegate responsibility to us. They found themselves spending too much time and money maintaining a server room or data center, so they contracted our services to provide space, redundant power and cooling, and connectivity so that they can focus on their core business. They found it’s a waste of money, time, and resources to maintain their own data center (or bank of servers in the back closet) when we can provide much more redundancy, many more services, and ultimately cheaper costs. Instead of building a team and purchasing all the expensive capital, they let us handle it for them.

Bottom line: Be the expert your customers need, expect, and ask you to be, and hire the experts you need to stay focused on that and complement your offerings to better build and grow your business.