Delegate and Elevate
They call him Jack, in most quotes.
All work and no play, makes Jack a Dull Boy.
Jack of All. Master of none.
So, why did Jack become a dull boy, or a master of none. In spite of working so hard. Clearly, Jack seems to be in a leadership role. That is probably because Jack didn’t share the load. Jack didn’t delegate.
Which is what you must learn to effectively do. Delegate.
Whether you’re a team leader, a business owner, or in a similar position of leading people, delegation is going to be a major key to maximizing your productivity and keeping yourself sane during tight deadlines or large workloads. The hitch is, many entrepreneurs and leaders don’t know how to delegate effectively, or aren’t willing to do it unless they absolutely have to.
Delegating tasks is a skill that, like any skill, can be learned and improved on over time. Put these seven delegation methods into action and watch as your organization’s efficiency soar.
- Take a deep breath, and Let Go.
Dedication is a great thing. And sometimes, as a leader, you feel so dedicated towards your work, you refuse to seek help. You fear, no one will do it the way you can, or you doubt their skills, or you lack patience.
Take baby steps. Start small. Delegate the smaller tasks, till you learn your team’s ability. Gradually work your way up. Eventually you will have to let go of your work if you want your team to be successful.
- Be Clear and Specific About the Work
It’s critical to explain to team members why the project is necessary, what you expect of them, and when it’s due. If they know what you expect, they’ll be more likely to deliver.
By setting clear expectations, you help them plan how to carry out the task. Set up project milestones so that you can check progress without micromanaging. If your employee has trouble meeting a milestone, they still have time to course correct before the final product is due.
This method of accountability, I experienced at my PLD course at Harvard. If students only know the due date and basic requirements for completing major research papers, they might put off the work until the eleventh hour. Many programs require students to meet with advisers weekly to get guidance, address structure, and work out kinks in their methods in advance of deadlines. These measures set students up to succeed while giving them the space to produce great work.
- Support Your Team members
To see the best possible outcomes of delegating, your subordinates need resources and support from you. Connect them with training and materials to develop skillsets they don’t already have.
It may take more time up front to make resources available, but you’ll save time by having the work done correctly. For recurring tasks, this training pays off repeatedly.
Sometimes team members need help to see what they’re doing well and how they can improve. Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of delegating tasks. This is also a good way to monitor the delegated tasks as a leader. While you can keep track of the progress of the tasks, you are not micro-managing the team members.
Throughout the project, periodically ask your team members if they need support or clarification. Make it clear that you trust them to do the work, and you want to create a space for them to ask questions and offer feedback. This feedback will help you refine the way you delegate work.
As a leader, there is nothing more important than improving your delegation skills and it all starts with shifting your mindset.
Always remember that delegation does not mean dumping tasks on people. Set time aside and stick to the fundamentals, the process, and the relationship building.
Build a good rapport with your team and they’d be more than willing to go an extra mile to deliver their best.
Even when delegation seems more of a hassle, you have to remind yourself that by delegating, you free up time for yourself, for thinking about bigger things.
Most importantly, your career growth depends on your ability to free up capacity so you can take on new projects while building the skill-sets of those on your team to support you.