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Leaders often struggle to transition from doing to leading, which is a challenging shift. When you’re a new manager, you can still be praised for being hands-on and executing tactical tasks. However, as your responsibilities grow more complex, it becomes clear that there’s a significant difference between being an effective leader and an individual contributor with a leader’s title.
In the short term, you might have the energy to work longer hours and outperform the demands you face. But eventually, the combination of limited resources and increasing demands will catch up to you. At that point, your ability to involve others becomes the determining factor for your leadership impact. The more you empower collaborators to contribute their best work to shared priorities, the greater your potential becomes. Conversely, holding onto unnecessary initiatives only diminishes your power. If you develop delegation skills, you can become a leader in every sense of the word.
Top delegation strategies
#1 Eat the pie in small pieces
Effectively delegating work involves dividing the task or project into manageable chunks. This approach enables your subordinate to complete the task successfully and on time, without feeling overwhelmed. By breaking down the project or task into manageable segments, you can also simplify its management. This simplification facilitates efficient and effective delegation while minimizing the risk of mishaps. Additionally, tracking the progress of these smaller tasks becomes easier for you.
#2 Focus on what’s important
Spend less time worrying about what you can’t do and focus more on what you can. Replace “I can’t trust their ability to complete the task” with “My main objective is to uncover their innate talent.” Some individuals strive to reveal their superpower, but effective leaders strive to uncover yours. Outstanding developers believe in their team members more than the employees believe in themselves. You will never become a skilled delegator if you cling to the belief that no one can perform as well as you. Your new measure of success is not product development, but rather developing people. Choose to have faith in people and their potential.
#3 Provide reliable communication channels
If you need people outside your staff to complete tasks, task management becomes an order of magnitude more difficult. Proper communication is important here, not only in terms of communication skills but also technology. For workflow optimization, you can use the fax app. You thought, can I send a fax from iPhone – am I right? Time management in leadership is as important as safety. Both requests may be closed by digital fax. It is secure, offers fax delivery reporting, delivers documents in seconds, and offers efficient digital document management.
#4 Be clear about your expectations
Effective delegation relies on clear and coherent communication. Managers must communicate the task, expectations, and timelines explicitly to ensure that the delegate comprehends the task and meets the established requirements. This approach fosters understanding and accountability, enabling team members to stay on track with their timelines and carry out tasks efficiently and promptly, thereby avoiding confusion or chaos.
#5 Ask, don’t order
Almost everyone is willing to lend a hand, but nobody likes being commanded. It’s important to have the humility to recognize delegation as a request for help! Seek advice. It never fails to be perceived (and genuinely is) as a compliment to their skills. It fosters engagement and conveys that their opinions are valued. Instead of saying, “You need to do this,” start with, “I’m facing challenges with this. What is your perspective on what we should do/can you assist with this?” I frequently coach leaders who struggle with delegation to simply reframe it as an opportunity for co-creation.
#6 Give challenges but also offer support.
Helping individuals discover their innate brilliance is a complex and nuanced endeavor. The true comprehension of this concept often emerges through the establishment of an encouraging environment that embraces failure. Exceptional leaders inspire their team members to approach challenges with enthusiasm rather than fear of failure. Consequently, they witness the remarkable capabilities that individuals possess. A proficient delegator empowers people to believe in their ability to expand their limits and tackle challenges. If you intend to provide your employees with a single opportunity devoid of room for growth, you should only anticipate reinforcing your belief that they are not up to the mark.
#7 Know where to say yes and where to say no
Being selective is both an art and a science. Successful investors don’t invest in every opportunity that comes their way, and we should apply the same discernment to our time. First, assess each demand carefully and align them with your highest-valued contributions, using your most proficient skills. For the requests that align with these talents, say yes and dedicate your time and attention. However, for those that don’t align, say yes conditionally, and promptly identify others who can accomplish the goals through their direct involvement.
You can still consult, motivate, and lead, but your role becomes the catalyst rather than the one doing all the work. This discerning approach may involve delegating tasks, negotiating a reduction in your direct contribution, or simply saying no while presenting a business case for why your effort and attention will have a greater impact elsewhere.
You won’t be a true leader unless you master the art of delegation. Yes, you know for sure that you will do this or that job better, faster, and more accurately. However, this way you don’t allow other team members to develop, and you get stuck in operational work. If you don’t break out of this daily rut, you won’t be able to progress with your business and team.