Leading is about letting go, not holding on.
The art of leadership delegation is built on the concept that leaders build leaders. To build more leaders you have to be able to effectively delegate. To effectively delegate first, you need to be aware that you are not the only one who can do the task and do it well, and second, know when to let go.
Below are the key actions of effective delegation to move from holding on to letting go:
•Trade the word delegation for development. With each task or project that you delegate, ask yourself, “Who could benefit from growth and development in this area?”
•Be crystal clear on the end result. Your job is to define the “What and the Why.” When you delegate to another their job is identify the “How” and manage it.
•Jointly set deadlines and milestone check points. Make sure there is a clear start and end date.
• Ask for a plan with detailed actions and steps to achieve by deadline/milestone dates. Review periodically. Do not go longer than a month, do not micro manage on a daily basis, do focus on wins as well as gaps.
•When there are gaps in performance, mistakes, failures — ask for a plan of action to close the gap to achieve results.
•Make sure you celebrate and acknowledge short term wins as well as skills and behaviors that support a positive outcome.
•If the project is more than three months long, make sure there are strong monthly achievement goals.
•Get feedback from the project team members, customers, and other stakeholders, along the way and provide that to the team lead. Begin the path of leadership development by providing concrete and regular feedback about their communication and leadership style.
•If the project is suffering from weak leadership – train them, coach them, and teach them to be a leader that can take on challenges to provide winning outcomes for all.
The ability to delegate well is a fundamental and necessary attribute of leadership. If you cannot delegate you will stagnate your growth, your teams’ growth, and ultimately your company’s growth. Practice the art of delegation and watch the world around you grow and expand.
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what (s)he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”