Authentic Delegation

Many “leaders” claim to empower their people. Many say they are excellent at delegating tasks to those same people. Funny thing is, their people often don’t know that. 

The reality is that too many people in leadership positions “dump” work they don’t like to do on their people. They give little direction about how to do the task and then, when it’s not done correctly they criticize the person they delegated the task to. 

This reinforces the thinking in the mind of the “leader” that if you want a job done right, you need to do it yourself. 

But Authentic Leaders delegate differently. When they empower their people they provide well defined perimeters for how and when a delegated task must be completed. Then, and this makes all the difference, they get the heck out of the way and let their people go. 

They know there may be a mistake or two along the way. They use that as a learning experience. They do not take the delegated tasks “back” from their people. They coach them towards successful completion. 

If you’re in a leadership position then you must know that growing and developing your people is one of your core responsibilities. Delegation is an essential tool in that development process. Here are just a few of the benefits of Authentic Delegation:

  • Delegation enables a leader to distribute workload and responsibilities among team members, which increases productivity by allowing more work to be completed in less time.
  • Delegation gives team members the opportunity to take ownership of their work and to develop their skills and expertise. This can lead to greater job satisfaction and motivation, which can increase productivity and performance.
  • Delegation requires communication and collaboration between the leader and team members. This can promote teamwork, trust, and a sense of shared responsibility, which can improve overall team performance.
  • Delegation frees up a leader’s time to focus on high-priority tasks that require their unique skills and expertise. This can lead to better decision-making, strategic planning, and overall business success.
  • Delegation is an important leadership skill that requires effective communication, trust, and the ability to identify and develop talent. Delegating tasks and responsibilities can help a leader to grow their own leadership skills and to develop a strong, capable team.

Authentic Delegation is a win-win for both the leader and their team. It enables leaders to focus on high-priority tasks while truly empowering team members. It also improves overall productivity and performance.

If you are an Authentic Leader then you likely already trust your people enough to be an effective delegator. If you’re in a leadership position and don’t yet fully trust your people enough to delegate, then trust yourself. Trust yourself enough to know that you have the skills and ability to coach your people to success. 

The benefits of delegating far outweigh the risks. Those benefits are long-lasting as well. Start small, delegate some low risk easier tasks. It’s likely your people will amaze you with their ingenuity once they learn that they are actually, genuinely empowered to succeed.

Want more of LeadToday? I’m changing things up on my Twitter feed for subscribers. On March 2nd I began publishing two videos each week focusing on an element of Authentic Leadership. I’ll post these videos each Tuesday and Thursday morning. They will be about 10 minutes long so we can get into the topic in a more meaningful way. The investment for subscribers in still only $5 a month. That’s for at least 80 MINUTES of quality video content on leadership a month. 

If you’re interested in taking a look head on over to my Twitter profile page. If you’re not a follower yet just hit the follow button. It will change to a subscribe button and once you hit that you’re on your way. You can cancel at any time you’ve decided you have nothing left to learn about leading the people who you count on for your success. 🙂

Here’s the link to my Twitter… 

3 thoughts on “Authentic Delegation

  1. Excellent post. The leader can’t do all of the work, and frankly–the people further down in the organization can usually do it better. Therefore, we try to push responsibility as far down the chain of command as practical. Responsibility (control) has to be tuned with competence and clarity. If I give control, but the resultant work is misaligned from the mission/goal(s), I know I need to give more clarity. If the work is done wrong, I know I need to provide more training (competence). I also need to recognize some inherent limits to empowerment. There is a limit to how far down into the organization a responsibility can be pushed…a place where the capacity for competence and clarity is not adequate for the responsibility. Furthermore, there may be employees who reject the clarity (despite a capacity for it), as they are a bad fit for the organizational culture. These folks are not a good candidate for responsibility/control.

    1. Great great comment Marc. Sounds like you accept responsibility for successful delegation. Too many people in leadership positions don’t. You’re people are lucky to have you!

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