Leaders often feel stretched to the breaking point. There’s so much to do but only one of you. You think of how it would be great to be Jamie Madrox.
That name may not mean much to you. You may even wonder who is Jamie Madrox. You’d not be alone.
Jamie Madrox is a well-known comic book character in the Marvel universe. He goes by the name Multiple Man.
His superpower? He can duplicate himself, essentially making copies, How cool would that be?
If leaders could do that, we wouldn’t need what we will discuss today. Since we’re not Multiple Man, we have to rely on the power of delegation to help us lead effectively.
What Is Delegation?
We only have so much time in the day. Our priorities are stretched to the max. And we don’t know how we’re going to get things done.
That’s where delegation comes into play.
Delegation isn’t quite the power of Multiple Man, but it is an effective power. Delegation is transferring responsibility of specific tasks from one person to another. Basically, you’re asking others to do tasks you don’t have the capacity for.
Don’t think of this as a negative. It’s not. In fact, there are plenty of reasons delegation is great.
Delegation is a benefit because:
- You gain time freedom in your day
- Employees are able to help you by doing something they excel in
- It gives your employees more responsibility and a chance to grow
- You build trust with your employees
- It improves efficiency
- Your employees become more engaged in the organization
Delegation is anything but a negative when used correctly. Be willing to delegate tasks to those in your organization who are willing and able to do the tasks. You’ll find you have more time and your employees enjoy their work more.
Barriers To Delegating
You may think this delegation thing sounds great. You love the idea of more time, engaged employees, and higher efficiency. But you’re facing some barriers to delegating effectively.
Some barriers to delegating including:
- A mindset of perfection: You can’t see handing something off that you do well to someone you’re unsure of. You want to have a perfect outcome. Be willing to delegate when you’re confident the person you’re delegating to can do the job 75% as well as you.
- A mindset of control: This ain’t you, but maybe you love the power you feel when you control others. Some leaders fear giving up control of a project or task to someone else. Be willing to loosen the reigns. Hand them over to someone else and watch them go.
- A fear of being accountable when things go wrong: Yeah, things might go wrong, but they can go wrong even when you’re doing the tasks yourself. As a leader, you’re responsible whether you do the task or you delegate the task to someone else. Take the risk of letting someone else shine.
- The idea that delegation reduces your authority: Some leaders feel that delegating a task reduces their authority. I’ve found this to be the exact opposite. Delegating tasks increases your authority. Your team looks to you to see what tasks are coming next, they ask your opinion, and you get to mentor them through tasks they may be unsure of.
Let’s break through these barriers to delegation. Keep kicking them down and chipping away at the things that stop you from delegating well. You can do this. Not only will you benefit from delegating, but your organization also will too.
How To Delegate Effectively For Improved Productivity And Growth
Many of the barriers to effectively delegating are the building blocks to improved productivity and growth. All you have to do is look at the reasons for the barriers and find a way through them. Below, you will find five ways to delegate effectively that will improve your productivity.
1. Clearly identify and define the tasks to delegate:
It isn’t easy to delegate tasks if you don’t know what tasks you want to delegate. You have to define the tasks clearly. Create a checklist of what needs to be done, ways they can be done, and how long they should take. You can then hand the tasks off to someone who can do the task better than you.
2. Find the right person:
Teams are complex organisms. There are a wide array of people you could delegate tasks to. Not everyone will be suited for every task. Learn about your people. Discover their skills. Then begin delegating appropriately.
3. Give resources to your people:
You may want to delegate to your team but you don’t want to give them the resources to accomplish the task. This is a big no-no. Make sure you’re properly equipping your team members with the right tools and resources. Without them, you’re setting your team (and yourself) up for failure.
4. Give feedback:
You can hand off tasks to team members to complete. However, if you don’t provide feedback to your team on how they’re accomplishing them, they may go about the tasks in an incorrect way. Make sure you’re checking in and giving feedback to your team. The more contact they have at the beginning, the faster they can run at the end.
5. Reward great performers:
People love to feel appreciated. Without rewards, they may feel as if they’re being saddled with more responsibility for the same amount of pay. Be willing to reward great performers.
Effective Delegation: The Key to Growth as a Leader
You can see delegation isn’t a bad thing. Delegation is a tool you can use to get more done, grow your team, and become more effective.
Don’t let the barriers to delegation hold you back. Crash through those barriers so you can create a team that’s getting things done.