How to go Further Faster – Guaranteed
Leaders are control freaks that struggle to let go. You go further faster when you pass the baton; sadly, you hinder your influence and effectiveness when you don’t.
You’ll always be a mediocre leader until you become great at delegating.
Recently an emerging leader explained they were learning to delegate. He said, “I’m finding it’s hard to let go. (No surprise there.) I need to keep my fingers in things.” He made me chuckle, not because he’s struggling but because it’s a pervasive battle.
Assigning a task is not delegating. Telling people what to do is not delegation. Anyone can say, “Take the trash out.”
You delegate when you:
- Explain the big picture – the why.
- Provide authority to achieve goals – the what.
- Handover decisions concerning how the job gets done – the how.
- Establish timelines. – the when.
The ultimate goals of delegating:
The goal of delegating is not getting someone to do something you don’t want to do. The two goals are:
- Employee engagement.
- Skill development.
Effective delegation best leverages your current talent in ways that elevate their potential. It’s more about people than tasks; it’s always that way.
10 principles that take you further faster:
- Always begin with the part most frequently excluded – mission and vision.
- Delegate outcomes not methods – unless specific methods are mandatory.
- Invite participation from employees regarding delegated assignments.
- Discuss the scope of authority – including limits.
- Agree on the definition of excellence.
- Explain to the organization or department that delegation has occurred or conflict is inevitable.
- Create controls like timelines and deadlines.
- Provide ample feedback but don’t meddle.
- Expect excellence.
- Face failures together. Solve challenges “with” not “for”.
Delegating poorly means you’re running out of steam. Exceptional delegating means you’re picking up speed.
What have you learned about effective delegating?
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