Updated: Feb 9, 2022
I’ve got some uncomfortable news for you…if you are working significantly longer hours than others in your team, you probably aren’t delegating enough. There is no rule which says “The boss must work harder than everyone else.”
Why we SHOULD delegate:
1. It allows us to step back and monitor/direct the ‘big picture’. We can’t do that if we are micromanaging.
2. It motivates our team members like little else will. Our team WANT responsibility. It makes them feel valued, and helps them learn and grow.
Why we DON’T delegate:
1. We don’t trust our team to produce the quality we desire (we own that problem),
2. We don’t trust the decisions they will make (that's also our problem), and
3. We don’t trust that they’ll finish the job on time (yep...our problem too).
How to delegate more:
1. Learn to live with the fact that your team won’t do the job like you will. It doesn't matter! The positive effects of delegation generally outweigh the possible reduction in quality output. I have a friend who runs a very successful global business…his rule is “If I think they can do the job 70% as well as me, I’ll delegate it.”
2. Set a good ‘Commander’s Intent’. The military has used this concept for centuries…it means effectively communicating the overall objective, and delegating responsibility and decision making power down to the lowest possible level (which is generally the level where the relevant information lies).
3. Build communication protocols which allow you to receive regular updates on progress. For example, an update at a certain time interval, or just before a major milestone is reached.
Delegation isn’t a symptom of laziness; it's a sign of a confident leader working in a high quality organisation.
Don’t hesitate to delegate!