The Best Thing I’ve Done for My Leadership Skills Is Delegation

You can’t do everything yourself. That’s why you work with teams.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto


How are you managing your work and team? All good? Or a bit on the edge?

Many leaders are overwhelmed with their work, the coordination, and the problems of their teams. It is quite an interesting moment in your career to realize that you are not alone.

Leadership is not just status on your corporate ladder. It is a position in which you have a great deal of responsibility. Not only for yourself but for others. For that, you need one thing.

Time

How do you gain time? Delegate.


Can delegation help you?

Oh yes, it can. There is only one moment when it is counterproductive. When you turn delegation into micromanagement, it does not serve your team or you well.

Delegation is a leadership superpower.

Wake up, Neo! You can’t do everything yourself. What you need to do is follow the white rabbit. Leaders do the right things.

As a leader, you are never alone. That’s great! You have your team to rely on, and your team makes it all possible. So, why wouldn’t you work with them? It’s your work regardless of your job description.

KPIs, finance results, client management, knowledge management, innovation, etc. Uf, that’s a lot on your shoulders. Delegation is your answer.

If you want to think and work strategically delegate.

Where to start? Present your vision

What separates successful leaders from ineffective ones? It is a vision.

“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” — Ralph Lauren

Do you have one?

Luckily, it is not rocket science. All you need to do is think about the purpose of your business and what it is supposed to do for people. It is often quite abstract, though.

So, you need to break it down into an actionable and understandable vision and goals for your team.

When I was a manager of two teams, I thought that the company’s vision was clear to them. No, it was not. I took responsibility and cleared it out. So, coworkers could understand what it meant for their work.

How is this related to delegation? Greatly. If you know where you are heading, it is much easier to share responsibility and delegate work.

Vision makes it easier for people to jump on board.

Talk to your coworkers and find out their hidden talents

Leaders don’t speak to their team members enough. They miss so much information. They often don’t even read their CVs when they are hired.

That’s a missed opportunity.

People are not what it says on paper. They are much more.

One’s single greatest strength may be uncovering the hidden talents of another person. — Tom Rath

In my last job, I worked as a research manager. Nevertheless, I expressed my passion for leadership, processes, and knowledge management. The company ignored it entirely. Even though it had been through organizational changes that I could help with. I said goodbye to them soon.

It is much easier to delegate if you know your team.

Talk with them, listen to them, and question their past experiences. Be interested in what they like and what they want to achieve. Create opportunities for them by assigning them appropriate tasks.

As a result, you will have a loyal workforce ready to follow your lead.

Build execution teams

As a manager, you often fail to understand that you need teams to perform tasks. If you have one person responsible for one task, what happens when he/she leaves the company with all the information?

Delegation is about spreading knowledge and accountability. So, the golden rule of delegation is:

It is dependent on a team, not on a person.

Surprised? Don’t be.

You, the leader, oversee activities towards a common goal. Get to know people in your team and start working together. Create unexpected couples or mini teams. They get to know each other and build strong team trust.

It is fun and useful as you are upskilling everyone on your team. No one has been left behind. Everyone contributes.

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” — Henry Ford

Oversee the development and suggest corrections

You are the captain of the boat. You know where you need to go, but the way is long. You may have to steer the boat in one or the other direction. Your goal is to decide when it’s time to adjust the course.

Delegation keeps coworkers engaged. Yet, it can also go off the rails without any control. You don’t sit alone and wait until all is done.

You actively participate in the process.

There will be times you are stuck. Your team is helpless, or there are unexpected conditions. Your people need you. They need your support and your guidance.

Leadership is possible only when you are present for them. Don’t wash your hands too early. Be helpful and be around. You may need to give them a hand.

That’s what makes delegation awesome. It gives you a warm feeling of being part of the team.

So what?

Don’t underestimate your delegation skills. They make you a better leader.

Delegation is the essence of leadership. Everything is linked together as you can’t delegate if you don’t know your team, don’t have any vision, and don’t understand teamwork.

Delegation is the most valuable thing I’ve done for myself and my team. Can you say the same?



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