One of the most common opportunities for newly promoted leaders is the skill of delegation. It comes in part from being the expert in the areas of their previous role and still retaining those responsibilities and partly from passion areas that the person just loves to do. We teach that holding on to both of these types of tasks restrains your effectiveness in a new role and it’s not until you can successfully delegate those tasks away, that you can realize your full potential.
Whether you are a new leader or not, good delegation skills take your time management skills to the next level.
Assess your routine and schedule
Think back to our exercise in Prioritizing your time (Show 380), what are those things that you found yourself spending time on that are low or important in priority? Those two categories will likely be full of activities and tasks that can be delegated out in your work life.
Assess your schedule and do some self-reflection as it compares to your current role. Are you doing things that you did in a previous role?
In your personal life, think about the things that you routinely spend time on thought out the year. Corilate that time with a monetary value. What is your time worth during your personal time? It’s ok, and perhaps likely, that the dollar amount changes depending on what it is. Now put a value on the things that you really need or want to do. If the want and need are valued higher, you may benefit from delegating (or paying) someone to do it.
“Find things for other people to do,” seems easy enough, but we sometimes put blinders on or overestimate our own commitment to items that are taking time better used elsewhere
Compliment delegation to others’ development
By now you should have a list of things in your work routine that you can delegate away. Leverage those items as development opportunities for those on your team. Who could best learn and grow by taking on the task or responsibility?
Delegation is a great way for someone to get a glimpse of what your day-to-day world entails as well as help provide them with a low-risk look into the world that you live in. It’s a great way for the person to get a feel for your role to help them understand if they may aspire to become you one day.
Follow-up on your delegated items
Delegation certainly has its perks for the leader as well. You’ll find yourself having some room in your schedule (and your mind) to do things that are important that you’ve been putting off. Your success in delegation will also help you to be a more future-focused leader instead of being caught up in the swirl of the day.
The benefits are great, but leaders sometimes put delegated tasks in the “set it and forget it” category. Delegation without a follow-up plan is a recipe for disaster for you and the person taking on the new task.
- Before the task is delegated: Ensure that there is alignment on expectations and agreement from both parties around the specific ask of the person you are delegating the item to. They need to have support, empowerment, and any resources necessary to be successful.
- Set a check-in cadence to see how things are going and to get feedback on any ways that you can adjust to support the person better. Keep the cadence tight at first and then build in some space as time, trust and results build.
Delegate it all away?
It’s been said before to delegate it all away. While it’s great to delegate projects, tasks, and responsibilities to others, it’s important to your people for them to see you still a part of the work. Delegation is a powerful tool, but if your people feel like they are simply just doing your job while you collect a paycheck, engagement will surely fall quickly and people will begin to leave.
As you have your team meetings and huddles, be sure to share the things that you are working on and have accomplished since the meeting. This will help in two ways: It will help them feel more informed of the larger picture and it will show them that you are just as involved in the overall success of the strategy as they are.
Strike the right balance between delegation and tasks that you need to lead yourself.
Layer in all the aspects of time management; Prioritize your time, set up your system, eliminate time stealers, and delegate for success to take control of your time management skills. It can truly be a life-changing habit and helps you stay focused, accelerate your performance and enjoy life more along the way.
Make a better tomorrow.