Delegating is an Essential Skill for Successful Leaders

Neil Edwards | individual puzzle pieces coming together
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Good Leaders Delegate

One of the hallmarks of a great leader is knowing how to effectively delegate tasks. For some personality types, it can be tempting to try to take on everything yourself rather than entrusting your employees to help you connect all of the individual pieces to form the whole.

When you are in a position of leadership, it’s imperative to learn to identify who on your team is best suited to tackle a particular task or project and empower them to do so. The job of a leader is to lead their team, not do all of the individual tasks necessary to complete a project by themselves.

Phil Jackson helped shape Michael Jordan’s leadership skills by encouraging him to “surrender the me for the we,” meaning focusing on being part of a team rather than an individual and understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

In his highest scoring game ever, Jordan posted 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game was won 117-113.  That means 48 points were contributed by his teammates.  Not even the greatest of all time can carry the entire load alone.

Why You Should Delegate Tasks

It’s not about simply lightening your workload, although that certainly is a benefit. It is the way to show your team that they are trusted and respected.

It will help them to gain knowledge and develop skills.  This, in turn, helps those employees improve their work ethic.

They’ll have a higher level of commitment to their jobs and their customer service, and improvements in customer satisfaction lead to improvements in your bottom line.

Why It’s Hard for Some People to Delegate

There are a variety of reasons that people struggle with delegating work.

They feel like passing off their responsibilities to someone else

As a leader, it’s important to remember that is your responsibility to make sure things get done. It is not your responsibility to do them all yourself.

They have an “anything you can do, I can do better” attitude

Maybe you can clean the floors better and more quickly than the company’s janitor can. Maybe you can make coffee better than your assistant does. But wouldn’t the best use of a leader’s time be to spend it doing the tasks that will affect their company on the largest possible scale?

They are control freaks afraid of letting go

People will seldom let you down if they understand that their success is in your hands and vice versa.

Not utilizing your employees’ skills because of your personal issues is a waste of company time and resources. A good leader can put aside their own hangups and do what is best for the company as a whole as well as the individuals on their team.

The Bottom Line

The delegation of tasks will not only increase trust and loyalty between you and your employees, it can also improve productivity and make sure your team members are handling the tasks that are best suited to them.

It can take a bit of trial and error to become a great delegator, but if you make improving your delegation skills a priority, everyone in your company will go farther.

Contact Othniel Edwards today for your consulting needs or on customized tips for effective delegation in your organization.

5 Steps of Effective Delegation

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