Delegate with Ease
Delegating is hands down the hardest part of leadership for me. One of the reasons I never delegated when I was new to my leadership role was because I had two strong beliefs. Firstly, that if I didn't do it myself, it wouldn't get done. Secondly, that no one could do it as well as I could. Classic perfectionism traits! I laugh now as I reflect back on the early days of my leadership journey. I think it was also part of my 'superwoman' image - that I could do it all. Don't you just love maturity and a little bit of wisdom?
The truth is, without delegating, a leader burns out very quickly.
According to Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog: 2013) "A manager who cannot delegate properly is held back from using all his or her skills at the maximum levels of effectiveness."
It took me a long time to realise that delegating tasks to others was actually a gift, not only to myself (hello extra time) but to other people who were hungry for the opportunity to step up. Actually, by delegating tasks to others it gives us the space to focus on our high value activities.
Leaders who work smart, know how to leverage their time and a big aspect of that is delegating work.
Delegating to others is an act of empowerment - it establishes a sense of responsibility in others and gives them an opportunity to develop their skills.
Here are 6 tips on how to delegate;
1. Make a list of all of the tasks you do in your job
2. Highlight the tasks that someone else could do for you
3. Create a quick system whereby you teach someone how to do that task. It could be a verbal recording, written instructions or a video.
4. Train them to do the task. You are going to have to take the time here. Think big picture. Think long term investment.
5. Give them feedback and praise as they progress with the task.
6. Set clear expectations, for example, I need it completed by the last day of the month.
Keep these points in mind;
Do not delegate only the unpleasant tasks
Hold back from commenting if they do the job differently than you - with the same positive result.
Don't leap in at the first sign of trouble - support them with effective questions
So with those tips in your tool box, go and write that list out! Get started!
Create more time for your high value tasks so that you can make the impact you are striving for.