Whatever your field and whatever shape your journey takes, no one makes it to the top alone. You’re going to need help, and that means delegating to your colleagues.
Here are just four reasons why delegating is essential for true leadership, and how to delegate well.
- Being Clear About Your Reasons
A lack of clarity is a recipe for disaster. For starters, it can lead to errors. Small mistakes can start to mount up into big ones, compounded all the more by frustrated customers who are sure to lose patience at this incompetence. Just as bad, a lack of a clear goal can poison employee morale and lead to a malaise. You thus need to be clear, precise, and decisive when giving instructions.
- Encouraging Contributions
People like feeling like they’re “part” of something. We’re naturally creative and natural contributors. In basketball, nobody likes a “ball hog” – even Lebron James needs to pass the ball once in a while. When you try to do everything yourself, you not only run the risk of burning yourself out, but you shut out your employees, which can further sap morale. What’s the point of showing up to work if someone else is going to do all the creative work and take all the credit? Encouraging your staff to contribute to projects (and actually listening to them) is essential for building the DNA of a strong team. Allowing everyone to contribute toward a project will also likely allow it to be completed quicker than if you try to do it all on your own.
- Strike a Balance
If you’re too hands-on at work, you can seem like a tyrant. Too hands-off, and you lose any authority. Delegating is all about striking a balance between these extremes.
- Selective Answering
As your company grows, you’ll find that you can’t answer every question. Be selective about which questions you choose to answer. The best way to do that is by being selective about which questions make it to your desk or inbox in the first place, and that means delegating authority on lower-level decisions to others. This, in turn, means being able to trust others in the company to answer those questions. Having a clear chain of command (without coming across as too strict or tyrannical) is essential for selective answering and delegating authority.
Implementing these points can help ensure that you delegate properly the right way, and thus make your company an open, engaging place in which to work.