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Leadership Skills #8 - Delegation

Part 8/10

Delegating power

Leadership involves more than giving commands. True leaders know how to identify and clearly communicate business goals. The are quick to recognise the strengths and abilities of their people and they put these to the best possible use.

To increase your effectiveness as a leader, you should look for opportunities to develop and empower your people. Consider their strengths and their potential, then delegate.

To delegate with success you must;

    • delegate appropriate tasks to people with the necessary skills
    • then give them the authority they need to do the work

Delegation should never be used to avoid the jobs you hate. Delegating "appropriate" tasks means delegating work that others can perform as well or better than you. You might also delegate a task that someone else can do more quickly thank you. Or one that will impart valuable experience to an aspiring leader.

Delegation can be used effectively to reduce dependency, to increase productivity and efficiency, and to develop future leaders. Delegating "appropriate" tasks can help your people to;

  • discover new abilities
  • gain confidence in their abilities
  • become better decision makers
  • become more self-reliant
  • achieve more innovative results
  • build interpersonal communication skills
  • develop networks and partnerships outside of the team

However, before you delegate, you must be reasonable sure that the person has the basic skills to carry the task out successfully. The person you delegate to needs to be able to achieve the required outcome without detailed instructions from you or ongoing and continuous assistance.

Another factor necessary for successful delegation is that you take care to delegate authority when that authority is needed to complete the delegated work.

People cant make decisions unless they have the authority to do so. Make sure that everyone is aware that the person to whom you have delegated the task has been given the authority to execute and manage the work.

Avoid the temptation to constantly oversee a delegated task or to dictate precisely how the outcome should be achieved. Give basic requirements and guidelines, then give your people authority and room to manoeuvre.

When people are empowered, they grow. Your vote of confidence in the abilities encourages them to look beyond their own areas of responsibility to add value to customers, support colleagues and assist the success of the entire organisation. If you want to become a successful leader, remember to delegate appropriate tasks to people with the necessary skills, then give them the authority (and space) to do the work.

have you read the assignment technique module?

     a) Outline when you think delegation is and is not appropriate (6)

     b) Describe the benefits of delegation to an organisation, team and individual (10)

     c) You have delegated a task to a a team member but they are struggling with it. Identify the reasons why they might be failing and Explain how you would resolve this situation (15)