9 Ways to Get Stuff Off Your Plate
Stop assigning tasks to yourself. Successful leaders leave meetings with fewer tasks, not more.
Delegating is taking stuff off your plate and putting it on someone else’s.
But, if you’re always filling other people’s plates, what’s on yours?
Your job is helping others do their job.
You’re the problem if everyone else goes home on time and you always work late.
- Hoard work.
- Need to feel indispensable. Successful leaders keep working themselves out of jobs.
- Prevent others from taking ownership by clinging to authority.
- Have disengaged, unmotivated teams. Teammates disengage when you don’t leverage their skills and passions.
The less you do, the more they get done. The more you do, the less useful you are.
5 reasons you don’t delegate:
- Fear of losing the spotlight.
- It’s easier to trust yourself than others.
- Burned in the past.
- Unequipped employees.
- Organizational culture that honors results over managing for results.
- Explain outcomes and deadlines, not methods.
- Grant authority when assigning outcomes.
- Connect career goals to delegated responsibilities. Ask, “Does this assignment move you in the right direction?”
- Delegate to develop.
- Delegate to strengths.
- Stay available. Don’t hover.
- Delegate to people who follow through. Reliability is the best ability, when it comes to delegating.
- Connect delegated responsibilities with mission and vision. Explain why it’s important.
- Do what only you can do.
Won’t they think you’re lazy if you become a delegating leader? Not if you delegate to their strengths, focus on their passions, stay available to help, and honor their success publicly.
Delegating is maximizing others, not laziness or neglect.
Delegate a little beyond their capacity or ability. Stretch people. Don’t defeat them. Watch for persistent frustration.
Your job is people. Their job is projects.
Never shirk your responsibilities under the guise of delegation.
What makes delegating go bad?
What delegating strategies work best for you?
Well written Dan. And by delegating in this way, one also builds the leaders of tomorrow!
Thanks Diana. For me personally, delegation is almost always an expression of my commitment to develop people.
Totally agree. Delegation does work.
Thanks Dr. Tahir. I’m afraid that most of us are control freaks and need to hang on to things too long.
Well written indeed..
My sister is working herself into an early grave.
Wish she would get the delegating thingy.
Great stuff today Dan.
Good article!! Good leaders build new leaders not followers…they can only become leaders by being given responsibility and being allowed to “own” their role.
Great post, Dan! I love that you outlined some of the “symptoms” of not delegating, as well as some of the common fears. Your practical tips and suggestions for successful delegation will help leaders to delegate successfully, or to take their delegation to a new level. You packed a lot of great info into this one post…I think I see a book in this post, if you are inclined to write it!
I really appreciate this sentence- “You’re the problem if everyone else goes home on time and you always work late”. It is so true in the organisations. Managers usually follow such practice irrespective of pending work. I strongly believe that such practices are generally followed out of being perceived bad in the eyes of superiors, following trends and to fulfill hidden agendas. There is no output of sitting late.
Similar to such practices, there is one more practice- expecting employees to sit late as long as boss is sitting. Again, the reason is same- to appear competent and concerned. Such practices are actually discouraging in nature as long as they do not yield additional output. Who should be accountable for this?
The question may lead to strong debate and discussion. The reason is simple- people may have different perspective, thoughts and feelings. Moreover, there may be people who strongly believe in such practices, since they have already achieved many promotions and related things out of following such practices.
There is a need to discuss on this matter.And there is solution as well. It lies in individual managerial approach. Who will start and how much courage one can muster to defend one’s position by showing outcomes even without sitting late. .
The 1st tip is key to learning HOW to delegate: “Explain outcomes and deadlines, not methods.” Empowering staff to create the how is key to their growth and ultimately, yours.
That is hard to do
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Leadership Freak wrote: Dan Rockwell posted: “Stop assigning tasks to yourself. Successful leaders leave meetings with fewer tasks, not more. Delegating is taking stuff off your plate and putting it on someone else’s. But, if you’re always filling other people’s plates, what’s on yours? Your job”
I am a big believer in delegation. It is the only way to get more done.
I agree!!I have not Put off in delegation!! But How to delegate!! is it suitable for all!!
Real Leaders delegate and they do after assuring there is sound Structure, Training & Coaching. Delegation is hard for Managers that are no Leaders. Excellent article, thank you so much.
Years ago I had a great staff that allowed me to focus on key issues that required a lot of travel. One time a visitor came and met my staff and after hearing what they all did, he asked me “what do you do” I took that as one of the best compliments I have ever received.
Great post, I sometimes have problems delegating when it takes more time to explain the task to someone else than do it myself. But it’s also not fair to me, when I am consistently staying in the office later. Food for thought, thanks Dan!
– Zachary from http://quickmeups.com
Delegation is one of the keys to leading with Vitality. If you want to lead longer and lead stronger you have to get things off of your plate so that you can focus on the things that will sustain your own energy.
Thought provoking and enjoyable article. Excellent contribution to the leadership concept. …but sitll wondering when leaders must take project responsibility…
You do the best job of providing advice that is succinct, compassionate and do-able. Right on!
I appreciate how quick your posts are to read, and how I learn something I can apply right now, right here and be a better leader today!