To Delegate or Not to Delegate

Delegation, or rather the lack of ability to delegate, is one of they key things that I see holding people back in their careers.

If you can’t delegate you cannot free yourself up to be promoted or to do other more interesting or important work, we are literally building a road block for our own careers.

As leaders it’s even worse, if we cannot delegate then we will be forever busy doing work rather than leading our teams, and without leadership our teams will not perform to optimal levels.

Thats not to say delegation is easy, because its not, but we have to learn to do it in order to free ourselves up for bigger and better things.

One approach I try to take is the 3D approach to any task that is: Drop, Do or Delegate.

Not only, do we struggle with delegation, but we often get bogged down with unnecessary work, so the first part of the 3D approach is to evaluate whether or not the work actually needs to be done at all, if not then we should look to drop it.

This is especially true of meetings, as leaders we spend far to much time in meetings or holding meeting, and we need to really evaluate the need for them. When I did this seriously I was able to eliminate unto 30% of my meetings, much to the relief of my team.

Once we know we cannot drop work then we need to decide whether or not we have to do the work ourselves or whether we can delegate it.

Here we really need to be ruthless!

We need to look at every task, and if it can be delegated then delegate it. As leaders there is very little that we truly need to do, especially when it comes to execution.  We need to be involved in decision making and in dealing with our major customers and senior business partners, but everything else could be delegated.

When we delegate we give others the opportunity to grow and learn and we free ourselves to focus on strategy, planning,communication, recognising our teams and supporting them with any issues that come up.

As leaders we need to have our eyes the horizon, but if we are heads down with day to day tasks, then its difficult to do that.

So have a look at your diary, and ask to yourself what you can drop, do or delegate, and if you have an assistant you can always ask them as they definitely know what is important and often see things we don’t see because we are too close.

When we delegate effectively, we show great leadership and we free ourselves to be available to new challenges.

If you want assistance in reviewing your schedule to make sure you delegating is at an optimal level email me at gordon@leadership-principles.com to arrange free 30 minute strategy session.

 

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