Tongue-in-cheek here. Without effective delegation, you can’t scale your enterprise, department, or organization. Letting go and trusting others to do things well is one of the more challenging aspects of being a leader of a growing organization. I find it interesting that most MBA programs don’t offer courses or even lectures on how to delegate. Yet, it is one of the most critical skills a leader must develop.
Care must be taken that we don’t confuse delegation with abdication. Abdication is blindly handing over a task to someone with no formal feedback mechanism. Over the years I have made my share of mistakes when it comes to delegation. In many instances, I “dumped the work unto someone” and gave little consideration if they had the knowledge, skills, and capacity to accomplish the task. The bottom line — don’t do that. It will backfire.
Assuming you have delegated the job to the right person, below are four components I have discovered to be helpful for effective delegation:
- Priorities: point out what needs to be done.
- Measure: create a system for tracking KPIs (key performance indicators)
- Feedback: stay connected in the process and outcome
- Recognition: there is nothing better than to give appropriate recognition — give praise often when it is deserved
Please keep in mind that delegating doesn’t diminish your importance. Because, in the end, it is never about you. It is always about them. Like one candle’s lighting, another doesn’t diminish its light but multiplies it, so it is when you grow others. The function of leadership is to develop other leaders; delegation is an excellent tool.