As leaders, one of the more challenging aspects of leading a growing organization is letting go and trusting others. John Maxwell puts it simply, “If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”

As the organization begins to scale up, typically 50+ employees, senior leadership must develop additional leaders who share the same values, passion, and knowledge of the business as they do in order to affect change throughout the organization.

However, many leaders confuse delegation with abdication. Abdication is simply handing over a task to someone with no formal feedback mechanism. We need to be careful here. All systems need a feedback loop or they will eventually drift out of control. I have seen this happen; it can be costly and painful.

I have learned successful delegation has four components:

  • Priorities: pinpoint what the person or team needs to accomplish. A great resource for this is the One Page Business Plan(R).
  • Measurement: create a measurement system for monitoring progress. Consider developing key performance indicators.
  • Feedback: provide feedback to the person and/or team. Set a meeting rhythm (regularly scheduled meetings with a defined purpose) to ensure everyone is on-target and on-course.
  • Recognition: people want to be valued and recognized. Never underestimate a simple “thank you” or my favorite, a handwritten note.

Remember friend, delegate carefully and stay true to the process.