How to Get Better at Delegating
Business leadership isn’t about doing more than everyone else: A talented manager is one who can build a team that they are comfortable delegating work to. This ensures that the workload is fairly distributed and everyone can work to their full potential.
In fact, CEOs with a talent for delegating generate 33% more revenue and create more jobs than those who struggle to delegate. But while more than 85% of managers acknowledge that they should delegate more, they are held back from doing so by guilt, habit, or a lack of trust.
One aspect of delegating well is communal. Invest in your team by training them, or completing tasks together so that they can take over in the future. That way, you can build a sense of trust and mutual responsibility as a collective.
And part of the talent of delegating is personal. You can develop a (healthy) habit of delegating work by approaching each of your tasks asking yourself, “Is there somebody else whose time would be better used on this?”
As a manager, if you find yourself constantly behind schedule, spending your time doing routine tasks or those that are outside your job description, then you probably aren’t delegating enough. So we’ve created a new guide to help you build the confidence to delegate and the judgement to do it right.
In case you still feel guilty sharing work or you’re worried about delegating important tasks, we’ve also created a series of motivational posters to remind you that being a good delegator is integral to being a good leader.
It’s normal for a manager to worry that if they are not involved in a task, it won’t turn out well. But there will always be work for which one employee or another will have a natural aptitude. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
Constantly doing the work yourself to save time teaching others how to do it may feel like a time-saver, but in the long term it proves to be a false economy. Invest time in your staff, and they will become more engaged and capable of absorbing time-consuming work from your schedule.
Managers who delegate work improve their productivity and their revenue. But even knowing this, others remain reluctant to change the way they work. Take firm, decisive action now and you empower your team to strive towards greater things.
As manager, ultimately the buck stops with you. Nobody else has the power to set out a new strategy that is both fulfilling and effective. Nothing will change until you do.
Delegating tasks to your employees doesn’t just reduce your workload, it enlightens your team as to the way the business works and improves their scope to use their initiative and work more effectively.
- Thomas, G. 2015. The Gift of Time: How Delegation Can Give you Space to Succeed. John Wiley & Sons
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- Mckay, J. 2018. 5 Ways To Prevent Decision Fatigue From Ruining Your Productivity. fastcompany.com
- Blake, J. 2017. How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate. hbr.org
- Mind Tools. Successful Delegation Using the Power of Other People’s Help. mindtools.com
- Brightman, B. 2015. 8 Habits Of Leaders Who Know How To Delegate. fastcompany.com
- Gallo, A. 2012. Why Aren’t You Delegating? hbr.org
- Gallant, M. 2015. 5 Reasons Managers Need to Delegate. saba.com
- Paulsen, R. 2014. The Art of Not Working at Work. theatlantic.com
- Phillips, P. P. 2010. ASTD Handbook for Measuring and Evaluating Training. American Society for Training and Development
- Science Daily. 2014. How we form habits, change existing ones. sciencedaily.com
- Saba. Closing the Engagement Gap. saba.com
- Brightline. Harness the Power of Feedback Loops for Better Strategy Design and Delivery. hbr.org
- John, O. P. & Robins, R. W. 1994. Accuracy and Bias in Self-Perception: Individual Differences in Self-Enhancement and the Role of Narcissism. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 66, No. 1, 206-219
- Bregman, P. 2010. How (and Why) to Stop Multitasking. hbr.org
- Rigoni, B. & Nelson, B. 2016. The No-Managers Organizational Approach Doesn’t Work. gallup.com
- Forsey, C. The Definition of Negative and Positive Feedback Loops in 200 Words or Less. hubspot.com
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