Great Leaders Know What, When and How to Hand Off
CLARITY IN DELEGATING TASKS
Great leaders are effective in knowing what to delegate, and how and when to delegate it. As a young leader, I was a micro-manager and a misaligned delegator. I would handoff a task to a very competent team member and then analyze their progress. If they weren’t doing “it” the way in which I thought that it should be done, I would intervene contributing to a culture of suspicion. Other times, I would delegate a task to someone that wasn’t quite interdependent and clear about their job role. You might guess the mindset that I adopted was that -no one could do it as good as me, so I’ll just do it myself.
Making the mistakes in delegating led me to examine the concept of there being different types of delegation. Today, I am clear in my critical role as a leader which enables me to better determine the tasks that can be handed off. Over time, I have gained clarity in the kinds of specific tasks that can be delegated to leaders that can lead themselves. Through trial and error, I now know which tasks can be handed off completely and which ones need some interaction along the way.
The Two Types of Delegation
Before classifying the level of ownership that a team member will be tasked with doing, investigate the opportunity. Determining the nature of the project, determines the type of delegation and who performs the tasks.
Type 1- Informed progress. I make myself available for questions and input. We also have regularly scheduled progress meetings to make sure that the action- taking is moving towards achieving the goal. The team member has some ownership in the process, but they aren’t autonomous.
Type 2- Informed results. In this type of delegation, the team member is autonomous. There are limited progress reports or no progress reports at all. This is out of sight and out of mind delegation. Only at the successful conclusion of the task is there a results meeting.
Delegating tasks can really be a great opportunity for leadership development. I have learned that this is also a great approach in eliminating micro-managing competent team members. Determining if a task should be delegated is the first step. Then choosing the type of delegating will enable you as a great leader to further the mission and achieve your goals.
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