Great Leaders Delegate

Delegating tasks, projects and responsibilities to employees is a key way of achieving better results and elevating your team’s commitment. It’s how you free up time to focus on the strategic needs of the business and make time to lead your team. This also ensures that you have others on the team who can keep the business going even when you aren’t around.

Delegation is a growth opportunity that allows employees to take ownership of something new and gain confidence in their abilities. You may even have a member of your team who will do something better than you could have — it might be a talent for them whereas you have just been getting by.

For it to be effective, however, leaders actually need to delegate. This means truly giving ownership and responsibility to someone else. Often, leaders think they are delegating when actually they are just tasking.

Know the difference

Tasking: You are still responsible for the end result and you are asking the employee to do the work in a certain way (the way you would do it). The employee doesn’t own it, they simply execute on it.

Delegating: You are giving authority on a project, process, service or work to an employee. They are encouraged to use their own judgement and discretion on how they will get it done. Leaders need to ask themselves, am I willing to live with the employee doing it differently than I would?

How to Delegate

1. Give the employee the appropriate training and support to help them get started. Begin with small tasks and build up over time. After the first few times they will start to take the project on duty on independently and over time, take over completely.

2. Be clear on the parameters. Are there certain issues, that if they pop up, you would want the employee to check in with you? Are there key milestones along the way where you would want to give some feedback on progress?

3. Let them try it differently than you might do it — perhaps they will find a better way. If their way doesn’t work, give positive feedback on their attempt and then focus on asking questions around what they can try next time.

4. Finally, give credit where credit is due. If you’ve handed off a project, duty or responsibility to an employee on your team and you are hearing good things about their work — don’t take the credit. Be sure to pass along positive feedback to the employee.

Why Delegating Matters

The time to delegate is now. It is time to start freeing up your workload so you can focus on bigger opportunities. Delegating shows your ability to prioritize what actually needs to be done by you versus what can be done by others. Delegating is a great opportunity for you and your team to progress and grow into bigger and better things.


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