Delegation: How to Let Go to Be Successful Faster

Delegation: How to Let Go to Be Successful Faster

To be an executive, your skills and practices need to change to adapt to the situation you have in front of you. I have learned that leaders who quickly see the need to let go – by shedding the skills and practices that led them to the position and replacing them with new skills – tend to be more successful, and faster. Letting go of the ways they did things leads to delegation and allows new leadership skills to develop.

The longer a leader holds onto the skills and practices they had, the more they hold back those who report to them and those around them. Having gone through this myself, I was not in the first group to quickly see what I had to let go of – I took the tougher route. Luckily, I was assigned a coach and a mentor to help me move past making things hard for myself and others. That learning has been foundational in coaching other executives to move swiftly to their place of most potential.

Here are six tips that have worked for executives who are open to growth through delegation:

1. Let go of the how and focus on the what

It is not your job to design how to make things happen, it is your job to define where you are going, why you are going there, and what needs to be accomplished.

2. Delegate control and decision-making as quickly as possible

Provide clear needs, resources, timelines, and outcomes to ensure success.

3. Remove seeking permission

If people are not taking initiative and morale is low, it means they cannot do what they think is right to achieve their goals. Not everything has to be your idea or approved by you. Wherever you can, remove permission-seeking to open initiative and engagement.

4. Be selective on your input

Not everything requires your input and engagement. If you are presented with something and it is not exactly perfect, that is okay. If you see something that could be a huge problem, ask them what their thoughts are on it and what their plans are to address it.

5. You don’t have to know everything

Let your team run with ideas even when you don’t understand it yourself. They will make mistakes and you would have made mistakes as well if you got engaged. Ask yourself – must you experience everything so you can lead and manage it? Are you comfortable with the learning cycle?

6. Let people grow

Don’t forget your path to where you are today. You made mistakes, failed and learned. It is in the uncomfortableness of work and life that people have the most growth. If you are focused on making everyone comfortable, then they never have the opportunity to stretch and grow to truly build the muscles of resourcefulness, resiliency, adaptability and humbleness.

To lead at the top, you have to let go and be uncomfortable so others can grow.