A sign of a good leader is how they are able
to delegate. You need to get the work
done through others. This is the best
way to accomplish more every day. The
basic definition of delegating is
“assigning duties to another person or persons while still being held
accountable.” The most important thing
is to know whom to delegate to and when.
You should make sure you know exactly what needs to be accomplished
before you give the task to someone else.
Don’t feel like you are passing the
buck. This is expected of you as a
manager. It is vital that you let your
staff take on most of the tasks, projects, etc. This gives them a chance to show what they can do. It breaks up the monotony of the day and
gives some excitement to the individual or team.
Some managers make the mistake to not
delegate because they think that if they hold all of the cards, they are
indispensable. On the contrary, you are
more indispensable when you show your leadership skills by delegating. You are more likely to get praised or even
promoted when you show your leadership skills, and not because you know
something that someone else doesn’t know.
Successful delegation of authority
might seem like it takes time and energy, but it's worth it. It helps employee empowerment and gives you
a chance to focus on larger and more pressing issues. It's worth the time and energy to help employees succeed and help
them in their development. They will
more likely be able to meet your expectations, and you build the employee's
self-confidence and self-esteem.
Employees, who feel successful, usually are successful. This will also open up future delegation
opportunities. The more you delegate,
the easier it becomes. The tighter you
hold on, the harder it will be to let go.
Do not be intimidated when it comes to
delegating. You might feel unsure and
timid when approaching another to do the work.
Use your leadership skills to confidently delegate with a “matter of
fact” approach. Again, the more you do
it, the easier it becomes. In fact, you
will be respected for your delegation skills.
You get power, when you give
power. Help your employees grow, teach
them well, and be happy in their success.
The best compliment you can get is a compliment given to one of your
Before you delegate, first ask yourself
these three questions:
- Can this project or task be delegated and do you have the staff
that can honestly do the work required?
- Should it be delegated or is it too critical and truly needs your
- Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively and explain the
expectations and outcome?
If you can say yes
to the three questions just asked, utilize these eight tips and points
- Pick the right person best suited for the task. Match the task with the person closest
to the responsibility. Some tasks
can go to a lower rung employee, or some might need to go to a supervisor. They just need to have the knowledge
and skills to do the job. You
want it done right. If the project
is successful, the employee gets the credit. If it fails, you are accountable.
- Make sure the person can work independently. What tends to happen is the unsure or
savvy person continually asks questions to the point where you end up
doing most of the work. This is
called “reverse delegation.”
Through time, you end up taking on some if not all of the duties
you gave the person. You end up
spending more time on the project than you would if you have just did it
yourself from the beginning. You
get questions like, “Can you set that up for me?” even though they should
be able to do it for themselves.
If you come across this type of situation, instead of making the
decision for them or taking back the task, go over the various
possibilities and put the ball back into their court. If you ask for something and somehow
you walked away with the responsibility, you have experienced reverse
delegation. Don’t give in unless
the person truly cannot do the task asked of them. If needed, assign the task to someone
else without demoralizing the person.
- Make sure
the person understands exactly what it is you want them to do.
Set clear and objective goals.
Let them know exactly what you want. Do not just say something like, “Don’t worry about it, I’m
sure you will be able to figure it out.”
Ask questions, watch the work performed, or have the employee give
you feedback to make sure your instructions were understood.
- Get the
agreement and commitment of the employee. You want them to commit
to you that they will perform the duties to the best of their
abilities. If they are
overwhelmed, or if they are already working on previously delegated tasks,
chances are the project wont get the attention it deserves. You will also be stressing out the
- Give the person the authority to take control of
the whole project. This will
show you trust the individual and not look as though you just dumped all
of the work on them, yet take the credit.
They should be able to attend meetings associated with the project
even when upper management is involved.
Make sure you stand by the person and their decisions. Also make sure they use their authority
wisely and not abuse the power given.
- Determine what tasks will need more monitoring
than others. It is up to you
to determine the strengths and who can get the job done quickly. The good news about delegation is
having someone you trust do the work, however, you are still held
accountable for the outcome. Give a deadline when you expect the
project or task to be completed.
Set up a daily or weekly meeting to review if you feel it’s
needed. Whatever you do, do not
micromanage and watch over the employees shoulder every few minutes. You need to let them make, and correct,
mistakes. It‘s all about
balance. Give them the space to be
able to utilize their abilities to the best effect, while still monitoring
and supporting closely enough to ensure that the job is done correctly. It is also their responsibility to
report to you on the progress of the project. You should not have to ask for updates.
- Motivate them by discussing how the success of the
project will make a positive impact.
The positive impact refers to the company and to
themselves. Let them know that
what they are doing is truly important, and that they will be recognized
for a job well done. This will
help build commitment to the project as well.
- Once the project or task is completed, carefully
review. Make sure all was done
correctly and to your satisfaction.
If you accept incomplete work or a lack of effort, you will be
hurting yourself and the employee.
They will not learn, and you will always get the same results. It might take some extra time upfront,
but the reward is a better future.
Be sure to praise, when praise is due, when the job is completed up
to standards. The easiest and
simplest reward to give is a compliment to the completed delegated
work. You both walk away feeling
good and satisfied about the accomplishment.
Here are three different possibilities to
consider, before a task or project is considered complete:
Do you need to make the final decision that the task is completed? The employee reports to you when the task is
finished and you decide whether or not it is completed.
Do you need to review with the employee and the two of you decide that
the task is completed? The
employee reports to you before making the final action to finish the task,
which then is considered completed.
Do you let the employee make the decision that the task is completed? The employee just lets you know that the
task is finished and has decided that it is completed.
The levels of delegation needs to be
understood by all in the same way when setting clear goals and objectives. Also, when you delegate, try not to always
pick the same person. Spread it around
to those who show interest. If you have
your eye on someone to promote, delegating to that person is a win/win
situation. Just be careful that you do
not show favoritism as you could run into Human Resource issues.
By implementing the points given,
you will be able to confidently delegate with successful results.