Delegation is a strategy and if we fail to leverage its potential our organizations suffer.
Business leaders and managers don’t delegate because they:
- Believe nobody can do it better than they can
- Fear others will believe they (the leaders) are expendable
- Leave deliverables too late to explain to others what is needed
- Fail to build competency in their organization
- Fail to build capacity in their organization
There are three key reasons to delegate:
- If you are a leader who does not delegate, you are leaving your company open to ‘bus risk’… the unpleasant consequences if a bus hits you.
- You are also suppressing growth opportunities for staff, which will result in employee attrition due to lack of challenge and opportunity.
- You are frittering away your time handling marginal activities, distracting you from a more strategic focus.
It’s not enough to commit to delegation yourself, although setting a good example is a great idea. Make delegation a strategic priority throughout the organization:
- Ensure that delegation isn’t seen or practiced as a dump where managers slough off menial tasks to their subordinates
- Review job descriptions looking for activities that can be delegated
- Identify individuals with the skills or potential to undertake more work, especially stretch assignments
- Add delegation as a talking point in your staff coaching sessions:
- “Are you getting enough opportunity to do new things?”
- “I’ve given you a number of extra assignments lately, how are you finding the workload?”
Be sure to schedule accountability reviews to ensure that what was committed to gets done; that’s one strategic priority you shouldn’t delegate!