In this Five part Series we will uncover the Top 5 Keys to Leadership Success.
In Part 1, we discussed Key Skill: Communication
In Part 2, we discussed Key Skill: Adaptability
In Part 3, we discussed Key Skill: Team Building
In Part 4, we discussed Key Skill: Strategic Thinking
Today, we look at Part 5, Key Skill: Delegation
Skill 5: Delegation
In some ways, delegation is the most important skill of them all.
I’ve already touched on some reasons why it’s important not to try to do everything yourself.
The key to making that happen is to learn how to delegate effectively.
Why You Shouldn’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
If you want to be a great leader, you need to know how to delegate tasks and – just as importantly – who to delegate them to.
You might have a ton of energy and the will to do everything yourself, but as I said before, it’s not always an effective strategy.
Not only will you be shouldering the responsibility for tasks that aren’t in your intellectual inventory, but you also run the risk of burning out.
We all need down time – and we all do our best work when we’re focused on what we’re good at and love to do.
Delegation allows you to focus your time and energy on the things you’re best at and the things that only you can do.
That means you’ll have more time to lead because you won’t be burned out from trying to do everything.
Tips to Help You Decide What to Delegate to Others
The trick to great delegation is knowing two things:
1. Which tasks and jobs can be delegated; and
2. Who should handle those tasks.
So, let’s take each of these things in turn, starting with knowing which tasks to delegate. You should delegate:
a) Things that your team members excel at
b) Things they can be taught to do
c) Things that don’t require your personal input
It might be useful to start by identifying the things that only you can do.
These may include making strategic decisions about your team or meeting with investors.
Then, make a list of the things you can delegate.
Once you’ve got the list, it’s time to think about who the best people are for those jobs.
Here are some questions to ask:
a) Which team members already have skills that make them suitable for the task?
b) Which team members have shown aptitude for core skills, like communication, teamwork, or logic?
c) Which team members are eager to learn and willing to take on something new?
Any of these questions can help you identify people who are ready to handle the tasks and responsibilities you’ve identified.
Once you’ve identified the people you need, you should spend some time thinking about the training and support they’ll need to succeed with their delegated tasks.
You may need to spend some one-on-one time with them or pay someone else to train them.
They may need a Coach or Mentor!
Delegate the tasks, and make sure that you communicate clearly and in detail about what you expect from each team member.
Make yourself available to answer questions, and most importantly, keep in mind that they may not get it right on the first try.
There’s a chance that you may need to adapt along the way.
You might not pick the best team member for every task on your first try.
The key is to keep an open mind, listen, and be patient.
You’ll need all your leadership skills to decide what to delegate, choose the best people for each job, and guide them along the way to success.
That’s why I saved delegation for last – because it’s a skill that necessarily incorporates all the others we’ve discussed.
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