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Insight: Adrienne Palmer

It’s Ok to Delegate When You Don’t Have All the Answers

A lesson in focusing on your strengths.




WAY BACK WHEN, during the summers of high school and college, I was a lifeguard at a tennis center. After a few years of burning hamburgers from the Snack Shack, pulling splinters out of little toes, and basically playing babysitter to the kids who were left by their racquet-wielding parents, I became co-manager with my best friend. Let’s just say this wasn’t the hardest job I’ve ever had. But I still took my new role seriously.

One day, I arrived before the pool opened and noticed the water was resembling an algae-lined lake vs. a chlorine-filled pool. I checked the pH levels. We weren’t in a good spot. I immediately decided this was my problem to fix. So, without consulting anyone or having any real clue what was going on, I drove to the business that supplied our pool chemicals. I quickly realized I was a teenage, private pool lifeguard with no clue what she was doing or even a company credit card to purchase the needed supplies.

Long-story short, my boss wasn’t pleased that I took this into my own hands. He knew the solution all along and had already been in touch with the company. Instead of feeling like I was the only person who could solve the issue, which was rooted in my desire to succeed at my job, I should have gone straight to someone who could help.

You would have thought I learned my lesson then, but it took me a long time to realize that not being able to do everything does not equate to failure. It’s ok to delegate. It’s ok to pass questions along to others who are more knowledgeable.

It’s ok to focus on your strengths. (Properly grilling hamburgers is still not on this list.) There’s power in realizing you don’t have all the answers.


Smart Tips From This Issue

  1. Are you selling SEG to your brick-and-mortar clients? Check out the most recent textile and dye sub machines to maximize your fabric print offerings. (Big Products, page 12)
  2. See how PSPs are incorporating philanthropy, environment conservation, diversity and labor practices, and volunteerism into their business. (Big Story, page 16)
  3. The pandemic affected the retail space in a big way. Help your customers stay in business by getting consumers in their doors. (Special Feature, page 22)
  4. Are you a manager or a leader? Learn how to grow in your role while simultaneously helping your employees succeed. (Big Business, page 28)



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