Let go and get more time for your strategic work.
Photo by RODNAE Productions
“I am busy.”
No, you are not. You just don’t know how to delegate.
It is extremely challenging to let go. Many inexperienced managers turn into a micromanaging nightmare as they don’t delegate. But experienced managers are guilty of that, too.
Where is the problem?
You are afraid of losing control. You believe that you are irreplaceable and only you know how to do things properly. I trained many managers who thought low about their teams:
They don’t work if I don’t look. They deliver poor quality. I have to check everything after them. They don’t even know how to write emails.
I had a boss who was just like that. It was awful and demotivating. Guess what happened? I left like every sensible person would.
Delegation is not only beneficial but it is also needed. You need more time for your leadership work and for your team to learn. It’s a mutually favorable agreement.
Delegation makes you vulnerable
Every leader is short of time. How do you get some when others depend on you? Well, you have to rely on them.
People won’t bite you. They surprise you.
Trust that they will manage.
Once you’ve assigned a task to someone, grant them the authority to take full ownership. You have to trust that they will complete it correctly and on time. — Ashira Prossack
Whenever you let go, you feel vulnerable. You are nibbling your nails and wondering if tasks will turn out well. That is a positive feeling!
You might feel like a parent when your child heads to school for the first time. Nervous but excited. They will manage. Give it to them.
Delegation can’t work without trust. Start with less significant tasks. Take it easy. Give yourself time to learn how to delegate.
Resist the temptation to control
When you send a few tasks to the world, you have a natural fear of quality issues. To prevent this, you need to check how it is progressing. Once. Twice. Three times. All the time.
You don’t probably mean it badly, you just want to help. You check that your team is on the right path. Yet, your right path to delegation is to get rid of tasks. You don’t do them WITH them. They perform them FOR YOU.
One of the most difficult transitions for leaders to make is the shift from doing to leading. — Jesse Sostrin
Tough for many leaders.
Control can spring into micromanagement.
Micromanagers are true corporate villains. Make sure you are not one of them. Be busy with other tasks like direction and strategy, not with control. There will be time and place to see where your team is and how it’s performing.
Let them learn. Focus on tasks that you can exclusively do. You will be so much more useful to your team.
Delegation is time-consuming in the short-term but worthy in the long-term
Look at delegation as an investment. You won’t get immediate results. You probably spend much more time explaining a task than performing it. But look in the future when you DON’T have to do it anymore.
Sweet deal, no?
So, get ready to delegate. It means you have to structure your mind and be able to:
Identify a suitable candidate for a task
Explain the task
Express your expectations
Give a network
Set a deadline
Align the control mechanism
Follow these steps when delegating.
People are usually excited to start doing something completely different. That’s your advantage. The disadvantage is that they might bother you with a lot of questions.
Save time to be available when they want to discuss something.
It’s going to be tough and your team will get on your nerves. It’s a worthwhile exercise for your patience.
Know what you want to achieve whenever you are disappointed about the lack of skills in your team. In the future, they will be self-sufficient. You will be free to pursue your leadership agenda. That’s what matters the most — the future.
Delegation is learning for you and your team
Delegation is tightly linked to feedback. When you outsource a task, you expect it to be done in a certain way. So, what happens when it does not meet your standard?
You are in trouble.
Well, not quite. Delegation requires careful planning. Think strategically. Others who work for you put their own spin on it. Be honest with them and take some time to discuss its quality and shape.
Feedback is super helpful during delegation. It is wrong if they deliver the work and you change everything yourself.
Don’t strip your team of responsibility.
Work with them on every detail that needs to be changed and focus on WHY it is needed. They won’t learn if they don’t understand it.
Many leaders don’t have patience as they feel they have no time. No. Wrong. Make time and provide proper feedback.
Remember, it is also learning for you. You learn when they don’t know and can help you set goals or plan training for your team.
Delegation is another chance to get to know your team better. Take it!
What is a delegation outcome? Time and knowledge.
When you get rid of tasks you don’t have to do, you realize what you can do as a leader. You see possibilities for your team. Leadership is providing an exciting direction. It is a vision.
Many leaders drown in managerial tasks. They are not leaders in the right way. Aspirate to be a better leader and delegate. You discover a whole new world.
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