How To 10X The Effectiveness of Your Delegation
Delegation is a critical leadership skill and in my experience as a leadership coach and facilitator, it is not done well at any level in many organisations! Leaders and managers frequently miss out on the opportunity to build capability and improve productivity; engage and motivate their team; align their own and other’s strengths and passions with tasks; and free up their own time to focus on higher value activities.
The simplest way to rapidly increase the effectiveness of delegation is to delegate more! However this requires self-awareness, because although you may think you are quick to delegate, the reality is that you may not be delegating as much as possible.
Do any of these common reasons leaders avoid delegating resonate with you?:
- ‘I need to keep ownership of the high profile work so everyone knows I am a high performer’ – although you have capable staff, you are still reluctant to let go as you are afraid it will negatively impact your profile. The reality is that what builds your reputation as a leader is your capacity to build high performing teams. Letting others shine will cause you to shine too.
- ‘Tasks should only be delegated if I am willing to pitch in and do them myself’ – although this sounds highly noble, it doesn’t make good business sense. You don’t get the big dollars to do lower level work but to be a leader. The higher you go up in an organisation, the more your results will be achieved through other people. Your value-add is delegating to and supporting your team to perform well.
- ‘My team members are already overworked, I don’t want to burn them out by giving them more to do’ – this may come from a good intention but burning yourself out by taking on work that others should be doing is not the answer. Instead, think about workflow issues, priorities and productivity factors to identify where people could be working smarter, or negotiate with your boss to free up more resources.
- ‘They might make a mistake’ – adopting a risk averse approach sets a ceiling on the growth and development of your team. Mistakes happen and can provide a powerful source of development if you are able to focus on the learnings rather than allocating blame. Helping your team to recover well from mistakes is an important part of their own development and resilience journey.
Take some time to reflect on what may be preventing you from delegating as frequently as you could and actively seek opportunities to delegate well, ensuring your team have the support they need to succeed.