Are you are buried at work, putting in long hours with no end in sight? Chances are you are not working effectively as a leader because you have failed to delegate tasks that your team members are hungry to get a piece of.
The Harvard Business Review posted a blog in July about the power of delegating and why it’s essential for effective leadership. While you may believe that it’s just easier to do it yourself, in the end you may burn yourself out and the quality of your work will suffer. Plus, if you want to grow the strengths of your team you must give them opportunities to take on new challenges that will motivate and engage them.
Here are some of HBR’s best practices for delegating:
Watch for Warning Signs – if you are working long hours and feel indispensable but your staff is not motivated or energized and leaving at regular hours, you are not distributing the workload effectively.
Understand Why You Are Not Delegating – if you are a perfectionist – get over it! You have a responsibility as a leader to grow your team, share the work wealth and challenge your staff with the kind of work that you can share. Growing terrific team members will not overshadow your worth but rather distinguish you as a great leader.
Measure How You Are Doing – keep a daily log of what you actually do in a given week so you can better divvy up tasks to others. The low-leverage activities should be the first to delegate and then you can work your way up to more high-leveraging projects.
Choose the Right People – ideally you should be able to delegate some form of work to every member of your team. The goal is to help all your staff members grow and free up your time for the high level tasks that only you can accomplish.
Be Accountable – give your direct reports permission to call you out when you don’t delegate something you should. This will prepare them for new opportunities, promote buy-in, and keep you honest in your new practice of delegation.
Let Go! – once you delegate you must let go and give your reports the time and space to accomplish on their own. This is not a time for micromanaging but rather to elevate your staff’s performance and development.