One of the toughest things to learn, is the Art of Delegation.

All too often we think that no one can do the job as well as we can, so we tend to keep the work rather than delegate.

Even if it’s true that no one could do the job better than we could, if we want to advance then we need to delegate.

If you don’t delegate then you limit your effectiveness to only those tasks that you perform. This is a serious limitation, and can lead to us blocking our own advancement.

Even if someone can only do a job to 80% of  the level to which we could do it, it would still be better to delegate it. If 80% is good enough then fine, if not we can always provide some support to complete it.

Often people want to be great leaders, but don’t want to delegate, even refuse to delegate, but this is a self defeating trait. We end up becoming to occupied doing stuff, rather than getting as much stuff done as is possible.

I always remember Star Trek, in the end it nearly always came down to Captain Kirk to defeat the monsters, to solve the problem, and to save the crew.  But with this approach you’re not a trying to be a leader, your trying to be a hero.

Whereas in Star Trek Next Generation, it was rare that it was Captain Picard who was the one to save the day. Instead, he would to gather his core team together, listen to their ideas, select the best idea, and then delegate one of the crew to solve the problem.

With this approach Picard could deal with many issues in parallel, delegating other tasks to more of his crew, if needed. He was a leader, not a hero!

This is why delegation is important, it doesn’t tie us to a single task, no matter how important, and in turn this allows us to increase our overall effectiveness.

No individual, no matter how important to a team, will ever out perform the entire team.

As leaders it’s our job to get the teams to outperform themselves rather than to try and outperform ourselves.

If you take this path, then you will forever be a team member, an individual contributor, a hero maybe, but will probably never make it to leader, let alone be great leader.

So, if you want to be a leader, learn to delegate!

Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles

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