Overwhelmed team leaders and managers: are you delegating enough to your team? Delegating not
only frees you up for the more strategic working and thinking, but it also builds the skills of your reports
so that you all can grow and accomplish more.
Some of the new leaders I’m coaching find it tough to delegate at first. They’re used to their hands-on
roles as individual contributors. They like to be close to all the work. And they just don’t know how to let
Letting go is scary, especially when you’re a high-performing perfectionist. But with a little up-front
planning, you can become a skilled delegator. Hassan Osman, project management office
leader at Cisco, wrote a great, quick read you might want to check out: Effective
Delegation of Authority: A (Really) Short Book for New Managers About How to
Delegate Work Using a Simple Delegation Process.
Here are a couple of tips from the book that I’ve used and have passed onto my clients:
1. Before you delegate, get clear on outcome you want
2. Find the right person for the job OR a natural leader who will figure it out
3. If this is a big job, or a relatively new hire, delegate in a meeting instead of over
email so that you can be sure they understand the task
4. Describe the task in terms of goals and outcomes, without prescribing how they
should do it. This allows the person to feel ownership of the job and gives them
the freedom to grow by figuring it out on their own
5. Describe how the task will benefit them and help them meet their own goals
6. And set clear checkpoints and limits -these are clear timelines where you expect
Try it out, let me know how it went.