Delegation provides leadership with a broadened strategic worldview, which strengthens tactical oversight. Bit i strongly believe that when practiced at random, delegation is disaster. Great delegation is deliberate and executed on purpose. Some leaders practice the unhealthy habit of using delegation as a trash bin to hold problems. But delegation is a method of engagement that can transform work into pleasure.
Here are a few questions that if asked could lead to high quality delegation:
- Is there someone else who I believe has the background, expertise and information to do a specific job or accomplish a targeted project as well as or better than I can? As a leader this takes real trust. Trust in your team and trust in yourself.
- Is this a task that’s likely to be reoccurring, so that if I invest the time in someone, I’ll get multiple payoffs long term? This is a great place to mentor your best people. You invest time teaching something you know well and they may be able to grasp the task and supersede your expectations.
- Do I have enough time to delegate the job effectively? If there’s no time for training, feedback and, yes an occasional redo, you may be asking for trouble. Evaluate the project carefully before making the delegation decision.
- Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person’s skills, or am I just handing off an unpleasant task on someone else? Leaders must never shovel off dirt to another person. They must be willing to deal with the difficult issues and not let them become someone else’s problems.
Now finally, you can answer the question, is this a task I should delegate?
Personally, the hardest part about delegation is taking the time to ask the questions. But I have seen time and time again where I have made grave mistakes and experienced glorious victories when I have made the decision to delegate. Take the time. Do it right.
Let your instincts decide which responsibilities must stay under your control.