6 Secrets Wise Leaders Know About the Power of Delegating

The ability to delegate is the power to build a future bigger than yourself.


6 secrets wise leaders know about delegating:

Wise leaders know that delegating includes people development and relationship building.

Effective delegating:

  1. Builds trust.
  2. Increases humility. Learning to delegate tests and increases your humility.
  3. Develops new skills. Struggle, in moderate doses, develops character and skill.
  4. Boosts morale. 
  5. Improves communication.
  6. Advances innovation. New ideas and methods emergy when new people try new things.

Hypocritical leaders say they value people-development, responsibility, and initiative, but don’t delegate.


Taking on new responsibility includes navigating the gap between lack of experience and new opportunity. Completely qualified is too late.

COF cp. LOP:

Cost of failure (COF) determines required level of preparation (LOP).

When costs are low and desire for advancement is high, 60% LOP is enough. Make room for learning.

The higher the cost of failure, the greater the need for preparation. Surgeons and pilots need to be 100% ready.

5 questions before delegating:

It’s not theirs until it’s not yours.

  1. Are they eager for advancement? Beware of aspiring for others more than they aspire for themselves.
  2. Have they discussed failure openly? Don’t delegate to someone who covers up failure.
  3. Have they stepped up in the past?
  4. Do they follow-through with little oversight?
  5. Do they listen and ask questions?

5 tips:

  1. Give authority gradually and incrementally. 
  2. Provide more oversight at the beginning.
  3. Expect more reporting when you first launch into uncharted waters.
  4. Step back transparently. Don’t simply turn your back and walk away.
  5. Maintain availability – don’t hover. Be available – but not eager – to grab the rope and pull if the train runs off the rails. Support instills courage. 

You’re ultimately responsible, but if you’re still meddling, it’s still yours.

What prevents leaders from delegating?

How might leaders develop their ability to delegate?