Learn the power of delegation

Dr Jana Matthews | 2 min read | Learn the power of delegation

If you want to grow your company, you need to free up your time. The way to find that time is to delegate some of your tasks to people who can do them as well – or better than you can. By using the power of delegation, you can address the issues required to get to the next stage of growth.

Some CEOs try to divide themselves into smaller and smaller slivers. They keep trying to do everything themselves. But they soon “hit the wall” or lose control and company performance begins to fall.

Delegation is tricky. Delegate too quickly, before the person is ready – or before you believe the person is ready – and they will falter. You will begin to micro-manage the person.

So remember to use the power of delegation, take each person through the five levels of delegation:

1. Give them a problem to assess

Give the employee a problem, ask him or her to identify some solutions, and arrange a time to hear their assessment and solution(s).

2. Ask them to identify feasible solutions

Then ask them for their assessment of the problem, what caused it, their solutions, and their rationale for recommending one solution over the others.

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3. Implementation and system impact

Next find out their action plan for implementing their preferred solution, and ask what impact it will have on other units of the company, i.e. the “system”. They need to be making decisions that are best for the whole organisation.

4. Implement the chosen solution

Then, assuming they have passed Levels 1 – 3, give them a green light to go ahead and implement their recommendation. But ask them to report back to you on how it turned out.

5. Full delegation but “no surprises”

The aim is to get your executives and managers operating at Level 5 as quickly as possible. The cardinal rule is “no surprises”. For example: being under or over budget or late. So implement “exception reporting”. And make it clear you want to hear the good news and bad news from them, not the grapevine.

If they fail a level, take them back to level 1 and begin the process all over again. Make sure they are competent, confident, and that you trust them to perform at one level before taking them to the next level.

Next make sure you don’t sabotage their efforts by micromanaging, or stepping in and taking over.

The power of delegation is a leadership core function

Delegation is not about abdicating the difficult tasks that are your core function as a leader. It is about training and empowering your staff to take on more and more responsibility as the company grows. And then rewarding them with increased trust and responsibility when they perform well. This will free you up to move to the next level of leadership and will enable the company to keep growing.

Want to learn more? See: Creating a growth culture in your company

Like this article? Try: How leaders foster innovation

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