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Creating Successful Leaders

Hands Passing Baton

When done properly, delegation is a win-win. You end up saving time, and the person you’ve passed work onto feels valued for their unique skills. Why is it, then, that more people swamped with work don’t delegate?

Because Delegation Takes Up-Front Work

Many leaders find that it takes them more time and effort just to bring others up to speed, when what they’re trying to do is lessen their workload. Why delegate if it ends up being more work in the first place?

It’s true that you’ll need to work harder and longer when you’re preparing to delegate tasks. There will be meetings, training, negotiations, and the inevitable hiccup. But if you take the necessary time to delegate in a meaningful way, you’ll end up saving far more time and energy in the long run.

How do you do this?

Know Your Team

This is where it comes in handy to know the people who you work alongside better than just knowing their name or where they went to school. When you’re familiar with their interests, passions, and experiences, you’ll find delegation much easier. You won’t be guessing, fingers crossed, that George can take care of the task you’re passing off. You’ll be confident that he can, because you know George, and man is George competent.

What’s more, knowing your team will let you sleep better at night. Just as every mother must let their children go off into the real world at some point, so too will you need to let go of the desire to obsess over the tasks you’ve passed on to others. They’ll appreciate that you trust them enough to leave it in their hands, and you’ll be able to focus on other things.

Plan Well

If you’re delegating to a group of people, you’ll need to hold a meeting or two beforehand to help build unity within the group. They’ll go off and tackle bits of the greater project, sure, but it helps them to know how their contribution functions within the whole. It also helps you stay mentally organized as you’re the one keeping track of all the loose ends.

Which leads to…

Check In

While you should trust your team to perform well, it isn’t micromanaging to do frequent check-ins on status. Keep it friendly, and be open to their feedback. They often have great ideas to contribute and they’ll feel appreciated when you take their ideas seriously.

If you’re worried that it may be too hard to ensure that your standards are being implemented by those you’ve delegated work to, fear not, but be sure to…

Have Clear Deadlines, Goals and Expectations From The Get Go

And be specific about them. It’s better to over-prepare in the beginning and be able to ease off as your team gets up to speed than it is to go into a project unorganized and be forced to pull people off projects.

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