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Good Leaders Delegate with Intention

In my coaching practice, one of the difficult transitions that I often see for leaders, is to make the shift from ‘doing’ to ‘leading’. As a leader, it is important to develop the skill of delegation. Through delegation, leaders free up time to focus on strategic thinking and leading and coaching their teams as opposed to ‘doing’ the work themselves.

However, I find that many leaders are reluctant to delegate, especially if they’re new to their role. Often, this is because they see it as a loss of control and authority. By delegating work, a leader is actually sharing authority and responsibility. It’s not possible to do all of the work themselves. The reluctance to delegate can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed with the risk of burnout.

For delegation to be successful, the right work and the right amount of work must be delegated to the right people. When done well, delegation empowers people, builds trust and capability and creates an environment where people feel proud of what they have achieved.

In my own experience, the following are key questions to consider when delegating work:

  1. How important is the task?
  2. Who has the skills and motivation to complete the task?
  3. What will be the delegated authority to make decisions during the task?
  4. How will I monitor progress?
  5. What will success look like when the task is completed?
  6. How will learnings be evaluated?

‘Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do’ 

– Jessica Jackley