According to John C. Maxwell, author of Developing the Leaders Around You, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”
Many leaders know they should delegate but are unsure of how to do so or what tasks should be delegated. They are afraid about what happens if the person they delegate drops the ball. It is often easier to say, “It’s just faster when I do it myself. They are also afraid of how it will look if they aren’t doing it all. It is the loss of control that scares many people.
If you are a leader or company owner struggling to delegate, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Once you have recognized duties that may be transferred to other members of your team, you need to think about who is the most suited to complete the tasks. Who has the capacity? Who is ready for a challenge? Who would see this as a reward?
2. Once you have chosen the best person, inform them why you selected them. Help them see it as a possibility to grow in their position or learn new skills. Make sure they know how it fits into the bigger picture of the team or organization.
3. Give them particulars on the task. Make sure they understand the task, any deadlines, the outcome that is expected. You are delegating the task to them, how they do it is up to them if the expected results are achieved. Make sure they have all the necessary information, resources, equipment, training, or supplies needed to complete the task.
4. Establish checkpoints or milestones for feedback so that they are neither micromanaged nor under lead. Create a motivating environment. Successful delegators know when to be the cheerleader, when to coach or step in. You are there to celebrate their successes.
5. Tolerate mistakes, this is a learning opportunity. Don’t take this as proof that you shouldn’t have delegated.
Organizations that are run by leaders who effectively delegate grow faster and generate more revenue because the leader is doing things that move the business forward. Leadership isn’t about maintaining an iron grip on every aspect of the business. It’s about cultivating a culture of trust, growth, and shared responsibility.