You’re so busy – there’s way too much on your plate. But wait! You’re in charge of the team – you have an option not available to everyone. You can delegate!
Yes, you can, but you’d be wise to put some thought and planning into it. Do it well and reap the rewards. Do it poorly, you’ll lower morale, decrease commitment, and spend even more time cleaning up the mess.
Delegation is a leadership tool.
It’s ideal for certain tasks and projects, and completely inappropriate for others (just as hammers are great for pounding nails but terrible for driving screws). Learn to delegate well and you’ll build a stronger, more skilled, and more autonomous team, able to get amazing things done without you hovering over them.
In this two-part series, we’ll start with what to delegate. Next week, we’ll talk about how.
Lots of leaders struggle with delegation. Some hesitate because they believe they can do the task better. Some are anxious about letting something go. Some think the time spent delegating will take longer than simply doing it themselves.
If you can’t, or won’t, delegate you limit your own potential. It’s that simple. You can’t do it all yourself. That’s why you have a team.
What should be delegated?
There are three kinds of things you should consider handing off to someone else:
- Small stuff that can be done by an assistant.
Scheduling Zoom meetings, booking a conference room, distributing meeting notes, and so on. Or monotonous things like copying and pasting information from another department into your team’s data base every month.
I used to report to a VP whose occupational hobby was proof-reading any reports any of us wanted to distribute outside the department. What a waste of his time and salary!
- Stuff that takes too much time when you do it.Even if you love doing it.
Tyler could create a PowerPoint slidedeck, but it often took him several hours to create the style, find the right images, animate the bullet-points, and so on. He found someone on his staff who could take his outline (which he could produce in half an hour) and turn it into a polished slidedeck in an hour. Perfect!
- Stuff that would stretch your employees toward their full potential.
It’s said the best leaders don’t create followers, they create new leaders. They do that by mentoring, teaching, empowering, unleashing employees by, in part, delegating them increasingly more responsible tasks and projects.
Could Jennifer learn to facilitate the quarterly strategy meeting? Could Andy develop the marketing pitch for the new product? Could Miles put together the agenda for your team building retreat? Could Kailyn conduct the first round of interviews for a new hire?
Delegation isn’t dumping tasks on someone else’s desk. Done right, it’s a demonstration you care about the development of your team.
Consider this: what could you delegate?