How to delegate responsibly…


Delegation has been a very popular term that when used responsibly is a very important practice. Over the years I have noticed trends in leadership abusing the use of delegation. The pure and responsible way to delegate should involve a mutually beneficial bond between the one delegating and the one doing the tasks. Review the difference between responsible and irresponsible delegation:

Responsible delegation: often a leader becomes overwhelmed with tasks that must be accomplished. Dominant teams that are inspired by leadership growth demand delegation to develop necessary skills. A great leader will utilize delegation for tasks that they are able to complete with a minimum of average performance. What this means, is that a leader should be able to inspect both completion, and the necessary steps to complete the process.

Leaders that are able to offer support if needed will not lose credibility, and will gain trust with their teams. Seeking strong and capable employees to complete tasks that will challenge their abilities will boost morale and a sense of ownership in the projects leaders assign. Delegation of tasks should be ones that will help both the leader and the employee accomplish goals for each other. Leaders should explain the reasons behind decisions on who they delegate and why, and most importantly celebrate the outcome.

Irresponsible delegation: unfortunately there is a large percentage of stagnant and lazy delegation. Leaders that require employees to perform tasks that are considered unpopular, minuscule, and obviously not employee’s responsibility will start the questioning process. Again, delegation must be a mutually beneficial task, so in the event that a leader is overwhelmed, these type of tasks should only be considered when absolutely necessary to accomplish deadlines and no other tasks are available.

Leaders that constantly push projects on others that they are incapable of completing themselves will often have poor performance. If it is the leader’s responsibility to complete the tasks, and they are incapable of performing minimally above average, the outcomes will eventually catch up.  If delegated projects can’t be correlated with associate’s development, a leader’s work ethic will be in question.

Remember that when you are delegating to others there are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I busy enough to justify the tasks in the first place?
  2. Is this a mutually beneficial project?
  3. Can I perform the tasks myself to ensure quality?

If you answer “yes” to each of the questions listed above, the delegation is more than likely a responsible choice. Entrustment in your team is extremely powerful; with this empowerment you can create unstoppable teams that will fulfill your goals. If you can justify your delegation you should utilize it constantly to ensure that your teams continue to develop daily!

-Michael Dooley

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