You walk into the class in second grade. You can’t read. What are you going to do if you’re going to make it? You identify the smart kid. You make friends with him. You sit next to him. You grow a team around you. You delegate your work to others. You learn how to talk your way out of a tight spot. – Malcolm Gladwell
I have worked with leaders at all levels and have seen the best and worst practices in how they delegate or they don’t. Here are my 8 key principles of delegation that I practice and advocate based on the lessons I have learned by being on both ends.
1. Delegating is setting expectations on desired outcome and offering to help, not about asking someone to do something.
2.Delegating is shifting focus on right things, as a leader, more often than not, doing right things is more important than doing things right.
3.Delegating jobs and task that you typically won’t do, is the best way to empower your employees; all other empowering talk is cheap.
4. Never take credit for what you delegate; NEVER take credit for anything that you accomplish.
5. Delegation keeps things transparency; everyone gets the bigger picture.
6. Don’t say, “I trust you,” instead delegate a task where an employee understands she would not have gotten an opportunity to work on it unless the manager had her trust.
7. Put yourself in the shoes of whom you are delegating to; manage their concerns, emotions, and challenges instead of yours.
8. Share with your employees what you don’t want to delegate; help them build empathy for what you do and motivate them to step up for that task the next time.