There are people in leadership positions who use delegation as a tool to dump undesirable work on people they don’t particularly care for. But when used properly, the way Authentic Leaders use it, delegation can be a powerful tool to grow your future leaders. It not only builds their skills, it grows their confidence and keeps them engaged. Plus, it frees the leader to do something that their people can’t do.
Here is a reality of leadership. This is true regardless of the size of your organization. As a leader, you should not be doing anything that one of your people has the ability to do. You should be doing the things that only you can do. If you’re doing something that someone else could do then the things that only you can do are not getting done. That adds unnecessary stress and results in lower overall productivity. That is NOT a recipe for growth in your organization.
Here are some proven best practices to help you delegate more effectively and empower the people you lead.
- Know what to delegate. Not every task can be delegated. Some tasks are too important, too sensitive, or require too much of your expertise. However, there are many tasks that can be delegated to others, freeing up your time to focus on the most important things.
- Play to your people’s strengths and goals. When delegating tasks, consider their strengths and goals. Delegate tasks that are aligned with their skills and interests. This will help them feel more engaged and motivated.
- Define the desired outcome. When delegating a task, be clear about the desired outcome. What do you want the person to accomplish? What are the specific goals or objectives? The clearer you are about the desired outcome, the easier it will be for the person to complete the task successfully.
- Provide the right resources and level of authority. In order to be successful, the person you delegate to needs to have the right resources and level of authority. This may include access to information, equipment, or people. It may also mean giving them the authority to make decisions and take action.
- Establish a clear communication channel. It’s important to establish a clear communication channel with the person you delegate to. This will help you stay updated on their progress and provide them with support when needed.
- Trust your people. The most important thing is to trust your people. When you delegate tasks, you’re essentially giving them your trust. This shows that you believe in their abilities and that you’re willing to let them take ownership of their work.
- Give them opportunities to learn and grow. One of the best ways to empower your people is to give them opportunities to learn and grow. This could involve providing them with training, mentoring, or opportunities to take on new challenges.
- Encourage them to take initiative. Another way to empower your people is to encourage them to take initiative. This means giving them the freedom to make decisions and take action without having to ask for permission.
- Celebrate their successes. When your people succeed, be sure to celebrate their successes. This will show them that you appreciate their hard work and that you’re proud of what they’ve accomplished.
As a leader you may be tempted to think that you and you alone can grow your business. You can to a point but one of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is not letting go of some decisions. Regardless of the size of your business you cannot do it all. The sooner you begin to use delegation to grow your people the sooner they will help you to grow your business.