Delegation is an under-utilised cost-effective tool when done right.
Delegating does not minimise power or authority! In fact, it increases respect, authority and influence.
✓ empowers others,
✓ it can help you in your work,
✓ is a valuable tool for succession planning,
✓ can help develop your team members,
✓ it can de-stress you.
Delegating, when not done well, can cause headaches and heartaches. There are many fears, reasons and excuses for not delegating. For example:
- You may be thinking that if you give more work to others then you will be seen as having nothing to do. In reality, freeing up your time of tasks that others could (and maybe should) be doing results in more time for you to complete other work, more time to ensure the team are engaged, more time to plan ahead rather than just catching up, to be more productive.
- You may not delegate work as it may result in others surpassing you on the career ladder. In my work with managers I’ve often heard, “If I give them tasks and challenging work, then they’ll be better than me and get promoted past me.” Yes, maybe, but the most likely outcome is that you’ll be promoted and they will step into your old job or move on to another company. Delegating, when done well, actually results in a stronger sense of security: the team are engaged, enthusiastic and see the manager as supportive and giving of opportunities.
- Trust is a major roadblock. One of the most common statements managers and leaders tell me is, “But they don’t do the task the way I want them to. No one seems to do it as well as I can.” And my cheeky response to that is, “If you never set a clear expectation of your standards, check for understanding, and set the delegation up for success, then you will always be right in that they won’t do it to your standard. [I don’t sugar-coat things, in case you were wondering!] Building trust is an essential first step and that means more, and better, communication.
These are just three examples of why some managers, maybe even you, see delegation as a dirty word. If you’ve struggled with delegation in the past, reflect on why it didn’t work. Delegation is too valuable to leave out of your toolkit of management and leadership skills. Mastering delegation is essential for developing the team and de-stressing you.
This video helps demonstrate how delegating can boost productivity:
No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.
(Richest man in the world in 1902, helped build the American steel industry.)