The Art of Delegation

Learning the Art of Delegation is among the most difficult skills to master.

We have a tendency to keep the work rather than delegate because we believe that no one else can do the job as well as we can.

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, or even refuse to delegate, but this is a self-defeating trait. We end up becoming too occupied doing stuff, rather than getting as much stuff done as possible.

I always remember Star Trek, in the end, it nearly always came down to Captain Kirk to defeat the monsters, solve the problem, and save the crew.  But with this approach, you’re not trying to be a leader, you’re 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 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 outperform 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 you will probably never make it to a leader, let alone be a great leader.

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

If you want to learn more about creating highly engaged teams or being a better leader click the link to make an appointment to talk about how I can help.