As a newly minted leader, your ability to roll up your sleeves and get into the trenches is likely what propelled you up the ranks. Your dedication to the craft, your detail-oriented approach, and your hands-on work ethic have not gone unnoticed. But now, as you gaze upon the ever-expanding horizon of leadership responsibilities, a realization dawns: you can’t do it all yourself.

Delegation is the lifeline that will pull you from the quicksand of overwhelming tasks. It’s not just about lightening your load; it’s about empowering your team, fostering trust, and focusing on strategic leadership.
Understanding Delegation:

The What and Why
Delegation is not abdication. It’s an art that requires balancing trust with control. Why delegate? The answer is twofold: it enables you to focus on high-impact leadership tasks, and it helps develop your team’s skills and confidence.

Identifying Delegable Tasks
Start by listing tasks that only you can do versus those that can be done by someone else. If a task can be completed 70-80% as well by someone else, delegate it.

Setting Clear Expectations
The key to effective delegation is clarity. Be crystal clear about what success looks like for each task. What is the end goal? What are the non-negotiables? Paint a vivid picture of the expected outcome.

Decision-Making Boundaries
Outline the level of decision-making authority you are passing on. Can your team make decisions on the fly, or do they need to run everything by you? Establish boundaries that empower yet ensure alignment with the team’s direction.

Check-In Frequency
Determine and communicate how often you want updates on the progress. Is it a daily stand-up, a weekly summary email, or an end-of-task debrief? Set a schedule that keeps you informed without micromanaging.

Decision-Making Authority
Be explicit about the decision-making authority that accompanies each task. Make it known if the delegate has full authority within certain parameters, or if they need to seek approval for specific types of decisions.

The Pitfalls of Poor Delegation
Beware the common pitfalls: delegating too much too soon, being too vague, or failing to monitor progress. These can lead to frustration, confusion, and tasks falling through the cracks.

The Rewards of Delegation
Done well, delegation can be immensely rewarding. It builds trust, develops your team’s capabilities, and frees you up to focus on leadership’s strategic aspects. It turns potential into performance.

Excerpt from our ‘Delegating to Empower Others’ course. Learn more at

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