By Steve Kennaird, Technical Director for Purple Cubed
Amongst other important attributes, leaders have a requirement to be strategic and consider the big picture, but also have the ability to get involved in the detail if necessary. Delegation is key to not only empowering people but also ensuring ample thinking time. 63% of business owners believe they could grow their business by more than 20% if they could delegate just 10% of their workload. Yet so many of us hesitate to delegate and find it difficult to do, especially leaders who like to have control (take the iWAM Questionnaire if you don’t already know), and those who find themselves having to get involved in the finer details on a daily basis.
You might think that the time isn’t right to delegate more to your team, and you wouldn’t be alone, the number of people who delegate everything that they should or could is less than 15% (Gail Thomas). But assuming you have a good team who want to develop, my advice would be to give it a go even if it fills you with fear. Otherwise weeks and months will pass without sufficient thinking time, and could impact not just yourself, but your team and organisation.
If you’re not sure where to start or what to delegate, look at where you spend your time throughout the week, thinking about what responsibilities you could pass on to someone else. One of the main barriers that prevents successful delegation is trust and so loosening the reins and letting others take responsibility is essential, not just for you to be able to succeed, but also for them to be able to grow. Decide who would be best in your team to take on each responsibility, and ensure that they’re supported and given learning and development should they need it.
Not only does this give leaders more time to focus on the important things, but also helps develop the team and make them more responsible, ramping up their engagement levels in the process. Everybody wins if you delegate correctly, so ‘just do it’!