Proper delegation is one of the most jacked up concepts in business…
Proper delegation is an art, but many think delegating is giving someone a task, and expecting that they do it. Here’s why that doesn’t work:
You’re overloaded with stuff so you decide to take something off your plate. You find somebody to give it to, and wait for them to either do it super well (and make you happy), or screw it up totally. Then they screw up, and now you have to take it back and do it yourself.
Here’s the crazy thing: this is what most people think delegation is. Do you know why? I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again:
“Who taught you? You learned to [fill in the blank] from the leaders before you.”
So change it! The proper way to delegate is NOT to just hand off a task. Instead, your job as a leader is to set your team up for success.
Stephen M.R. Covey is one of many great leaders I’ve met throughout my career, and one of the great things he said about delegation was:
“Don’t just delegate tasks but delegate the results as well.”
Delegating RESULTS, not tasks…
When you only delegate tasks, that’s what people are going to get done (in the best case scenario). However, when you delegate the results, they’ll look to fill in the gaps… the things that they haven’t been told to do.
Now, this can take some time. It is a long process, but it’s a FANTASTIC process when you do it correctly!
When you’re ready to hand-off a task, make sure you’ve answered every single question your team member may have. Give them every tool that they need. Whatever it is, you’re constantly going to them, and doing–what I call–the correct way of micromanaging.
Micromanaging is usually a bad word in the business world…
Because “micromanaging” represents “Hey, did you get that done?” or “Why hasn’t that happened yet?”
Instead, for me, micromanaging is crucial to proper delegation. It’s coming alongside somebody and asking a few simple questions…
These 4 Questions Are Your Key To Proper Delegation:
“Is there anything I can do for you?”
“Are there any questions you have?”
“Are there any tools you need?”
“Does everything about this make sense?”
If you will do this with your team members, if you will make sure they’re taken care of and made to be successful. Then, eventually, they will actually BE successful in the process.
It’s not easy, so you might need some additional help with learning proper delegation techniques…
If you’re still struggling to figure out proper delegation, you might try reading our The Leadership Crazy Cycle post, where you can find more resources on what it takes to provide great leadership to your team!
In Ken Blanchard’s book, The One Minute Manager, he talks about being able to lead a team so well that you only have to spend one minute with them.
When you do a great job of making your team successful in their processes and day-to-day tasks, so much so that they completely understand what they’re supposed to do… and they do it.
As I write this, I realize some of you might be thinking, “I have absolutely no time to do this.”
That’s probably true… but it’s YOUR fault! Because you’ve waited too long to delegate properly, now you’re stressed out, and you’ve got too many things on your plate. But you’ve GOT to do something about it!
Don’t turn to the closest person and hand something off if you don’t
have the time to make them successful in the process. I can promise you they will fail! You’ll take the project or task back, and add it back to your pile of things that have to get done. Guess what? You’re still overloaded. That is exactly why delegating correctly is so important.
Another lesson I love is the “The Law of The Lid” in John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You.
You put a lid on your own organization when you stop growing.
You have to make sure that you’re spending time pouring back into YOURSELF, because your team as a whole cannot grow past you. Start investing in yourself by taking the time to properly delegate to your team!