Are You Delegating Out of Necessity or Trust?

Delegation: it’s an art form, but too often, managers and leaders don’t see it that way. In fact, most of them don’t delegate enough and end up completing tasks and projects themselves. As a result, 78% of workers believe their boss routinely does work that would be more effectively done by someone else.

Why don’t we delegate more?

Nod your head if you’ve thought any of the following in your daily work:

  • “It’s easier for me to do this assignment myself.”
  • “My work is the best.”
  • “I don’t want my subordinates to take the credit…what if the boss replaces me?”
  • “I feel guilty for giving more work to everyone, so I’ll just do it.”

As a leader, one of the core concepts you must learn to embody is the concept of allowing others to get things done. Managing involves getting a lot of things done through otherpeople. The essential element of this process is delegating. Accepting that you can’t do everything yourself is the critical first step!

You can achieve greater results by empowering and motivating others to carry out tasks. But this can’t just be performed out of necessity (read: you simply have too many things to do). It needs to be assigned with complete trust in your team.

This is the key difference between automating a company and building a company culture of leadership.

Good leaders delegate out of trust.

Bad leaders delegate out of necessity or don’t delegate at all.

So, how do you begin delegating tasks?

The Delegation Steps to Success:

  1. Know what task you want to delegate.
  2. Have a desired outcome/goal in mind.
  3. Find the right person based on their level of experience, style/skill, and workload (in that order).
  4. Share with them the results you desire.
  5. Explain why the task is important. (This is a BIG step most leaders forget!)
  6. Acknowledge how performing this task or project will benefit them.
  7. Ask them how they plan to get it done.
  8. Determine the time frame and finish date.
  9. Reconfirm deadline.
  10. Follow up at an agreed-upon time.

Good leaders delegate while trusting and observing the person to whom they’ve assigned the task.

By observing (not micro-managing), you learn to let go while also noting what can be improved in the workflow. Perfecting the processes and workflows for delegated tasks is a combined effort and has a worthwhile payoff…you’ll be able to relax, knowing the job is handled. This is how companies and legacies are built: with smart delegation and trust in your team. Otherwise, you’re a cog in the wheel that could force the entire future of your operation to get stuck.

What is one task or project you could delegate this week to a team member you trust? Feel free to share in the comments (it helps with accountability, too!)


About Bill Treasurer

Bill Treasurer is the author of The Leadership Killer, Reclaiming Humility in an Age of Arrogance, which he co-wrote with Captain John “Coach” Havlik, Navy SEAL (Retired). For the last two decades, Treasurer has worked with thousands of leader across the globe, at such organizations as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lenovo, UBS Bank, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Learn more at:

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