Let's re-think the art of "Delegation"

The word 'delegation' has received some bad rap, and rightly-so I believe. People comment that when delegated-to they can feel overloaded, micro-managed or just plain dumped-on.

To 'Delegate' means to "authorise, assign, entrust, or to empower".

Delegation without authority can lead to people feeling powerless and put-upon. 

Delegation to someone without the appropriate level of capability or support can set them up for failure.

Delegation without trust can lead to people feeling hesitant or controlled.

Another way of thinking about it is:

When you delegate tasks you create lackeys.
When you delegate with authority you create leaders.


So what do you need to consider to be able to create leaders through delegation?
Below are some considerations you might like to filter your decision-making through.

  • The person's capability
  • Their level of motivation
  • The importance and risk-level of the task
  • Any trade-off's - what will they need to put-on-hold in order to lead this?
  • Time available
  • Support required
  • What will they gain out of it in terms of development and a sense of contribution?

Furthermore, if you choose not to delegate to someone, what are you going to do to develop them so they may be someone you could delegate-to in the future?

As you go into this week consider:

  • What are you holding-onto that you could delegate?
  • What do you need to do to be able to delegate with confidence?