The Rules of Delegation

In recent weeks, I’ve devoted a number of posts to the hiring and development of leaders within an organization. Fundamental to your success will be your ability to delegate effectively and the degree to which you teach others when they should delegate.

If you want to be a successful manager, you will have to give up the belief that you can do everything yourself. Learning to delegate is difficult for many managers. Sometimes this is because we don’t have confidence in those working for us or we wonder if they can do as good a job as we would. Sometimes our own lack of self confidence kicks in or we are averse to taking the risk that a failure might occur.

When done properly, the benefits of good delegation are significant. It will allow you to devote your energies to more appropriate matters, develop your people, motivate your staff, and grow your succession pipeline.

These are the circumstances when one should consider delegating.

  • When there is a lot of work to be done in a limited amount of time
  • When you feel someone has particular qualifications appropriate to the task
  • When someone expresses strong interest in the task
  • When you think that a person might benefit from the responsibility.

There are also situations when you should not delegate.

  • When the task is typically part of your specific responsibilities, except in emergencies
  • When it is something you would not be willing to do
  • When the task is not suited to the person’s capabilities (This would be guaranteeing failure.)

In our next post, we’ll present specific guidelines that will allow you to delegate effectively.

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