The Art of Delegation

The Art of Delegation

“Leading is about letting go, not holding on.” – Bobbie Goheen

The art of leadership delegation is built on the concept that leaders build leaders. To build more business leaders, you must be able to effectively delegate. To effectively delegate, you need to first be aware that you are not the only one who can do the task and do it well.  Second, know when to let go.

Below are the key actions of effective delegation to move from holding on to letting go:

What is Delegation?

Trade the word delegation for development. With each task or project that you assign, ask yourself, “who could benefit from growth and development in this area?”

Be Clear About the Project

  • 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 to identify the “how” and manage it.
  • 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. 

When to Check In on Delegated Items

  • Together, set deadlines and milestone checkpoints. Make sure there is a clear start and end date.
  • Ask for a plan with detailed actions and steps to achieve by the deadline/milestone dates. Review periodically (do not go longer than a month) and do not micromanage daily. Focus on wins, as well as gaps.
  • 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.

Addressing Delegation Issues

  • When there are gaps in performance, mistakes, and failures — ask for a plan of action to close the gap to achieve results.
  • 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.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Make the move!