Great leaders regularly delegate. To put it another way, great leaders loosen their grip and trust their employees to get on with it. This may sound complicated to you – too complicated to take your eyes off the ball and invest any of your precious time into, and therefore unnecessary.

After all, for years you’ve been able to keep on top of it all.

However, as your business grows, this will become unsustainable. You might not know it yet, but you will soon enough. The consequences of continuing to carry everything on your own shoulders are varied, but in my experience, it usually results in leaders becoming the bottlenecks of their own success. Or worse, a discontented culture develops in the workplace, filled with unhappy employees who feel unheard, unused, and devalued.

Make no mistake, most of these leaders have the best of intentions and enjoy running their companies. They take pride and pleasure in getting stuck in, but the result is that their most important decisions and actions are delayed. And the business suffers.

Signs You Aren’t Delegating Enough

Apart from the overall good that delegation does for your employees and business performance, it’s incredibly good for you as a person and as a leader. Through the art of delegation you’ll find yourself with renewed freedom and energy to get excited about work, think strategically around the business, and pay attention to critical projects.

Recognise any of these red flags?

  • You feel overwhelmed or drained by all of the decisions you have to make.
  • You only unplug for a few hours at a time.
  • Some of the process is complex or has exceptions, so you refuse to hand the task over.
  • You tried it once, and it didn’t go well.
  • You find yourself stuck in a decision bottleneck, leading to inertia.
  • You aren’t happy or fulfilled at work.
  • It feels like you don’t have time to delegate.

How To Delegate Effectively So You Can Do Your Job Properly

  1. ASSESS – Work out if the task can be handed down by assessing the risk-taking points. These risks will need to be managed and authority allocated during the delegation, so looking at these points will help you decide if it should be delegated or if it’s too sensitive or confusing for your team.
  2. THE WHO – You’re looking for someone who can complete the task within the timeframe and who can handle the extra responsibility. Keep in mind that while this person should be capable of success, they aren’t meant to do it just as you would have.
  3. CLEAR COMMUNICATION – Don’t simply delegate and walk away. It’s important to clearly explain the objectives and expectations, to verbally hand over authority, establish a reporting schedule, and provide resources.
  4. MUTUAL AGREEMENT – Agree on the risks, criteria, resources, and standards by which the outcome will be judged. This makes sure that everyone is on the same page.
  5. OVERSIGHT – Keep an eye on the task so that you can provide appropriate support. The key is to trust your employee while also knowing what is happening. The last thing you want to do is undermine their authority and confidence, making it vital to covertly monitor so that you can intervene when necessary and make sure that you are comfortable that the job is progressing.

Delegation Is An Art

While it sounds easy enough to simply hand over more responsibilities to your team, the truth is that making the shift from doing to leading is difficult.

It’s not easy to immediately or intuitively know what to delegate and what NOT to delegate, how much of the work you should delegate, and how to know who you should delegate certain tasks to. You also might not recognise the difference between delegating tasks and dumping mundane jobs onto your team.

Delegation is an art form, and one that requires practice and education. If you want to make the shift from doing to leading, then get in touch today.