For many of the leaders I work with, delegation is a real struggle. Leaders resist delegating because we are so accustomed to doing the work ourselves. Many times, fear will rear its ugly head, thinking that if we want the work done correctly, we must do it ourselves. And then there is the time issue of communicating and training others to complete the task for us.
Ahhh, but the benefits of delegation far outweigh the negativity that surrounds this illusive skill. When we delegate, we have more time for our high-priority tasks and we actually get to experience the joy of completing our tasks! Delegation increases our productivity and is a much better use of our resources. Delegation gives us freedom.
True, there are some tasks best kept to ourselves such as personal matters, confidential activities, crises, and activities that are specifically delegated to us. However, we can delegate paperwork, routine tasks, technical matters, tasks with developmental potential, and employee problems.
Since we are not born with the delegation gene, we must learn this skill. It’s not as hard as you think! Just follow these four simple steps and you will be delegating before you know it:
- Explain the need for delegating, including the reasons why you selected that person to complete the task.
- Clearly set the objectives defining responsibility, level of authority, and deadlines.
- Develop a plan to achieve objectives, resources, and give the authority necessary to obtain those resources.
- Establish an accountability plan with checkpoints.
Which step is trickiest for you?
Now go forth, delegate, and prosper!