In the book, The Winning Way, co-authored with Brian Tracy, I described three key attributes for good leaders — Communicate, Calculate and Delegate. It is interesting that this week I was faced with situations where clients were experiencing challenges all related to letting go and allowing their team take on the responsibility and ability to get the job done.
Delegation — the act of passing a task or responsibility along to others, most commonly to people who are below you on the totem pole.
Delegation isn’t just a top down action. In fact, delegation happens in all directions. for example, my clients delegate projects and responsibility to me as their consultant (external delegation), a committee may delegate action items to specific departments or positions within an organization. Delegation happens between colleagues and collaborating departments too. When teams, from the leader on down, are engaged and share in the goals and vision of an organization, delegation is a fundamental component and can be a “make-it or break-it” facet of the results achieved.
I recently hired a new virtual assistant and I have been in the process of letting go of tasks I’ve been doing over the past few months. This involves a change of thinking and planning. My VA is eager to take on whatever I’ll send her way. She’s also eager to assume role that offers me more value, and saves me time and effort. What’s stopping me … bad habits! Yes, its true. I’m so used to just doing it all that I forget to delegate.
This week was a pivot point for us. My failure to effectively delegate was stopping both of us from being successful! A great conversation where we shared, clarified and planned our next steps opened new doors. My “aha” including the realization that I wasn’t afraid my V.A. couldn’t do the job correctly. Instead, it was a failure to communicate what was in my head when I realized something needed to be done.
Do you delegate what and when you should, or do you fall prey to the common trap of “if I do it myself it will be done right” or only delegate tasks you don’t like doing?
Delegation, when done right will enhance morale, build trust and facilitate success for yourself, your team and your organization.
Ignite Leadership has many solutions to develop stronger leadership and better teams. Contact us to explore how our solutions may help you improve delegation, communication, leadership and team dynamics.