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How to Be a Stronger Leader by Mastering the Art of Delegation

Posted by Mary Bradbury Jones on December 29, 2016

stronger-leader-with-delegationDo you want to be a stronger leader? In today’s world, too many of us think leading means doing it all on our own — everything from making the “To Do” lists to checking each task off on those lists. But that’s a recipe for burnout! Most strong leaders don’t do everything on their own; they delegate. The power of accepting help can help you become a strong leader by enabling you to work less and do more.

It’s tempting to try and manage everything single-handedly — after all, many natural leaders feel as though the best way to get something done is to do it themselves. This kind of thinking won’t help you in the long run, however, not delegating tasks can not only lead to way too much to do, it can also lead to excess and unnecessary stress. Without delegation, you’ll quickly find yourself with an out of sync work-life balance. And it’s not just bad for you — hoarding tasks means you and your team are not as effective as you could be. By not utilizing others’ talent and skills, you don’t let them bloom to their full potential, and therefore, they can’t help the company. It also shows distrust of your team.

The truth is, you can be a stronger leader by mastering the art of delegation, but it’s important to learn how to delegate effectively.

There are multiple things you can do to learn how to delegate to become a stronger leader. For instance, there are a few significant questions you can ask yourself about delegating tasks: The WHO, WHAT, WHEN and HOW of delegating.

To WHOM should you delegate?

Before you can assign a task, you should think about who is the best person for the job. It’s not about picking someone with the least amount of work on their plate; it’s about picking someone who is best suited for the task at hand based on their skills, experience, and trustworthiness. Of course, considerations such as their current workload should be taken into account, but only after assessing whether this person is the best person for the job.

WHAT should you delegate?

As a leader, you should be using your time on the most important tasks every day – the things that no one else can do. Once you identify these tasks, you are free to delegate everything else (including tasks that you might not be that passionate about!). Don’t feel guilty about delegating any of these other tasks — you’re helping yourself and your company flourish.

>>> Learn more about The Art of Delegating Effectively

WHEN should you delegate?

Delegate tasks to others to give them enough time to handle everything they need and ask questions along the way. You should be delegating tasks if you’ve realized there is another person who has the skills required to complete a task at hand, and especially if doing the task will help them in their professional growth. Make sure to leave enough time to discuss the project with them, especially if it is a first-time delegation.

HOW to delegate?

Successful delegation isn’t just about throwing a task on someone’s desk. To ensure success for everyone, make sure you clearly outline what you want the outcome of the task to be. Focus on results— you don’t want to turn delegation into micromanagement, so it’s best to emphasize the outcome rather than how the task is done. Encourage autonomy and commitment by delegating authority and responsibility, in addition to the task at hand.

By answering the questions above, you’ll be better able to successfully delegate. And by learning how to effectively delegate, you’ll be a better leader — lowering the amount of tasks on your “To Do” list, reducing your stress, and freeing you up to focus on the activities that matter the most to your business.

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