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Delegating Duties: When Leaders Should, And When They Shouldn’t


Nearly every leadership training program, as well as the vast majority of so-called, leadership gurus, constantly emphasize how important it is for a leader to be ready, willing and able to delegate responsibilities and duties, to others. Unfortunately, however, while in a perfect scenario or situation, delegating is useful and important, if it is done rather haphazardly, rather than in a clear-cut, well-directed manner, the results may be less than stellar, if not downright disastrous! Before one should delegate, he must identify, qualify, train and oversee the right people, who are prepared, ready, have the proper attitude, have had related experience (which they handled well), and are willing to dedicate the time and energy. the task or duty might require. Often, it our quest to avoid being called a micro-manager, those in positions of leadership, delegate merely for the sake of doing so, and the results are generally far from ideal. Ask yourself if you would assign any individual to be the chef of a gourmet meal, without asking and considering the qualifications, experience and expertise? That is analogous to assigning anyone to tasks they might be unprepared for!

1. Analyze tasks: Break down larger tasks to smaller ones. Identify what qualities, skills, expertise, etc, might be helpful, in achieving an individual, specific task or duty. When you break it down into components, it invariably becomes a far simpler approach, and you optimize your chance to achieve your goals, etc. Don't merely delegate, but rather be certain, you do so, to the right person for the specific task, etc.

2. Consider readiness and needs: The major reasons for using delegation is to permit a leader to split the tasks, and achieve more, and, also, to train and develop better prepared future leaders.After all, no one can become a great leader, without the relevant experience, etc. However, this must be balanced with assuring that the individual selected is ready for prime time, and will make a useful contribution.

3. Weigh ramifications: Consider whether there are more overall benefits to delegating, rather than doing it yourself. It may be that some tasks might be better handled by another. Even if that is not the case, you must ask if the benefits justify the process, because it creates more involved, qualified individuals, to enhance your organization.

4. Plan/follow-up/review: Fully analyze your goals, in line with the priorities, goals, mission and vision! Based on that analysis, develop plans, which include how you might best serve the group! Once you select your team, clearly articulate your expectations, follow-up and oversee, and constantly review and evolve/tweak, as necessary.

5. Implement strategic and action plans: It's never enough to merely have an idea, and do little about it! Rather, formulate the best way to implement, develop the best group to help you get there, and clearly and properly, create, develop and implement a fully-considered, strategic and action plan.

While delegating responsibilities may be in the best longer-term interests of an organization, how one approaches the process, will reduce short-term negative ramifications, and enhance the prospects for success. A leader must know when he should, as opposed to when he should avoid delegating!


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