How To Delegate Better And Become A Great Leader
The most effective leaders know how to delegate. By delegating to the right people, leaders can spend time on high-value tasks and help prepare their team members for promotions and bigger responsibilities. Digital media consultant and journalist John Boitnott says it's essential for bosses to delegate appropriately if they want to help their employees advance in their careers and help their company move forward.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Boitnott's thoughts on how to delegate like a boss.
Understand what's holding you back from delegating now. Micromanaging bosses typically shy away from delegating due to fear that the job won't be done "right," or a belief that it will take longer to explain than to simply do it yourself. Effective delegation may require a bit more time and attention up front, but that's how we all learn new skills—by repetition and practice. Once the employee learns how to handle that task efficiently, the investment pays off in more time and space for you, as well as enhanced productivity for your company, says Boitnott.
Know what to delegate and what to keep. Deciding which tasks to delegate can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task itself. Think about it in terms of time management. You're working on letting go of things that are weighing you down. If anyone could complete these tasks, then they don't need your special attention.
Create a delegation process. To make delegation a seamless part of your workflow, Boitnott suggests thinking about creating a business system that supports delegating all kinds of tasks. Start with a time management exercise in which you look at how you spend your days. Make a list of all the specific tasks that need delegating, then think of one or more employees who would be a good fit for those tasks.
Keep yourself in the loop. Follow up on delegated tasks. For larger projects, ask for regular briefings to make sure you're on top of the overall progress or big-picture view. To be a successful delegator you need to let go of some degree of control, so don't micromanage the "how." Just make sure you're aware of the current status and available to answer questions, advises Boitnott.
Give full access to necessary resources. Make sure the people to whom you delegate any task are given access to the resources they'll need for successfully completing that task to your satisfaction. Ineffective or nonexistent delegation often boils down a lack of trust, which often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: "See? I tried delegating but they blew it. I have to do everything myself."
Instead, empower your workers to feel like they're making valuable contributions and are trusted to handle new responsibilities.
Delegation is critical to the success of any team or organization. By delegating thoughtfully, you save yourself time and end up helping your team members develop new skills. If you're looking to polish your delegation skills, reference the points above.
Source: John Boitnott is a seasoned digital media consultant and journalist living in San Francisco. He has written for Venturebeat, USA Today and Fast Company.