Making life easy takes effort? Sounds like a paradox if ever one was stated, correct? That ranks up there with the sun is shining, but it’s snowing. Although I have seen snow falling when the sun is shining in the Sierra Nevada mountains, making life easy as a leader is done through delegation. Delegation is also what leads to us having more time to make other decisions and actually go home at night, rather than sleeping in the office.
A few things come to mind when a person hears the word delegation. Some ask “why delegate it if I know how to do the task better” or “I can do the task faster.” Part of being a great leader is teaching others how to lead, fostering participation and communication in your team, and trusting others. These are difficult tasks, but I have mentioned them all in posts before as necessary to leadership in pieces and now we are beginning to show how they fit together as a whole.
We have to pick the right person for whatever task we decide to delegate authority on and this is usually decided on the nature of the task, whether it is critical, organization breaking or not. It is best to start small and work to larger spheres of authority for followers and this will take both time and patience. Some steps are included in an article I read with a few similar notes on the steps in this article. They keys are to allow for mistakes, give the authority to the delegate to have control of the task, and accept the outcome.
This brings an example to mind. One of the best leaders I have ever served under had one fatal flaw in his leadership style-he was a micro manager and did not like to give authority to anyone else. He was retired and lived only five or ten minutes away from the building our nonprofit organization was based out of, but he could never take trips anywhere because he did not want to give up control of the organization for even a little while. Later on, after he died, there were members that would have been willing to take over for him, but because he did not train or trust others to do any parts of the job, people had to learn from scratch. The benefits of delegation also include having options of good succession planning.
I am looking for your thoughts, opinions, and examples on this or any other leadership topic I have blogged about. I look forward to conversations with like minded people that want to share and help teach others the value of leadership.