Delegation is one of the most useful and powerful tools for successful entrepreneurs. Productive leaders know how to utilize their people and their time in a way that helps them focus on essential tasks.
They also value the capacity to use all of the strengths and skills of their people to accomplish astonishing achievements. Former President Theodore Roosevelt once declared, “The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants to be done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”
Every successful leader would agree with President Roosevelt’s insight. However, many entrepreneurs rarely practice effective delegation. This fact was highlighted at a recent leadership retreat where close to 85% of seasoned executives reported they hardly ever delegate. It is no wonder why so many leaders race around starved for time, while their most talented people feel unchallenged by their work.
Four ways to get more done with delegation
Entrepreneurs who learn the art of delegation will perform at a higher level than their peers who won’t or don’t delegate. Every entrepreneur should practice delegation. Every leader needs to empower their team effectively to reach their maximum performance. To delegate effectively, practice these four principles.
1. Let your team know you trust them
Delegation is not only ideal for leaders, but it also becomes a perfect conduit for their teams to grow individually and collectively. Booker T. Washington once said, “Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.”
Effective leaders must examine when they last entrusted their team with a critical project or task. If they see large gaps in their delegation, they must conjecture that there are also significant gaps in conveying belief to their team members.
2. Release responsibility and authority
Entrepreneurs are often more inclined to assign responsibility rather than authority. Leaders who delegate tasks without authority will end up with the responsibility for the completion of the task.
Proper delegation means delegating the task entirely. When team members are given final authority to make decisions it will increase the chances of bringing complete work and solutions back to the leader and encourage upward delegation.
3. Delegate meaningful work
One mistake leaders find themselves doing is assigning tasks nobody wants to do. Smart and effective leaders delegate meaningful tasks to teach their teams.
Sydney Finkelstein, author of SuperBosses, shares this truth about great leaders, “Superbosses are able to constantly and rapidly propel their proteges to new heights because they are the consummate delegators, relinquishing a degree of authority and oversight that would make many ordinary bosses cringe…with so much responsibility on their shoulders and a clear sense of accountability, not to mention the trust of their superboss, proteges come away feeling a sense of their own power and worth, as if they are more like partners then subordinates.”
4. Praise the efforts and results of your team
It is good to delegate effectively once. It is beautiful when it becomes a natural habit and part of the company culture. And it is transformational to delegate effectively always.
Every leader can start down the path toward consistent delegation when they praise both the effort and the results of their teams who have accomplished an assigned task. Entrepreneurs should envision what it could mean to their organization if they could effectively delegate consistently.
Delegation is hard, but you’re up to the challenge
Effective and consistent delegation might be the hardest task for a leader. However, it is also the most beneficial. Every entrepreneur and business professional should look to improve their leadership by enhancing their delegation skills. These four tips are must for practical delegation and can deliver incremental growth for everyone involved.
Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience). He serves leaders by helping them to have great experiences that both transform them and their organizations that enable to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOs and leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is an author, coach, and strategic partner with CEOs. Ken is the creator and facilitator of the Christian CEO Linkedin Group and creator of the CEO Experience Impact Assessment. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children.