Use Delegation to Build Trust and Empower the Organization

One of the toughest tasks executives face on a daily basis is time management – knowing how to best use their time and when to delegate.

I don’t have the time to make every decision, nor should I. I hire intelligent and capable people, and I need to trust them to assess situations and make decisions to complete projects. I believe that delegation can accelerate company success by creating new leaders who have the flexibility to solve complex problems themselves. It also frees me up to focus on big picture items such as strategy, culture, organization and results.

My approach to delegation, however, is not one-size-fits-all. There’s a spectrum. On one end, trusting a team to assess a situation or project, report on it and then make a recommendation. On the other, a leader assessing and reporting on the project while also making the final decision. The ideal end state is to hand off a project from beginning to end, but that can’t happen unless there is an opportunity to build trust.

To gain that trust, it’s best to define clearly what needs to get done and why it’s important. I’m clear in my role and give my team the space to ask questions. Then, I end with my expectations for deadlines and outcomes. As a result of delegating this way, I’ve become a better leader and gained the ability to make more focused decisions with better outcomes.

Executives who don’t delegate feel overwhelmed and unbalanced. They’re forever creating new lists. Worse, they tend to lose the support of their teams. By not delegating, they’re basically telling a team they don’t trust them. And, close-gripped delegation isn’t effective either since teams deflate under micromanagement. What they really want is ownership – they want to be able to take on more challenges and responsibility.

So, how does a good delegator distribute those tasks? Here are some of my best practices:

  1. Be clear about goals and the role you will play.
  2. Don’t delegate things that put people in compromising positions, such as tough news, vendor issues or customer complaints.
  3. Start off small – assign a few projects you know you can’t get close to. Then, ask your leader to make suggestions and create an action plan.
  4. Don’t dictate how to do a project. Tell leaders the outcome, give them a framework and let them get to the outcome in their own way.
  5. Always have a communication plan in place to debrief. Give your team the time and space they need to have a good discussion.
  6. Be patient – don’t get upset or micromanage if things go wrong. If you become reactive when things go wrong, your team will become hesitant and unable to make a decision unless they run it by you. Instead, check your team’s initial thought process and how they came to the final solution. Maybe they made the right decision and mitigated a worse outcome. Asking those questions can really open your eyes.


Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

David Einhorn
20 Things You Didn’t Know About David Einhorn
Scott Heiferman
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Scott Heiferman
Corey Schiller
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Corey Schiller
Oscar Munoz
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Oscar Munoz
Do You Really Need to Save That Much for an Emergency Fund?
10 Recession Proof Dividend Stocks You can Lean On
York Water Stock
20 Reasons You Might Consider York Water Stock
10 Creative Ways to Boost Your Social Security Benefits
airplane technologies
20 Technologies That Will Rule the World in 2020
Chatbots
The Growing Use of Chatbots in Customer Service
Data Breach
Four Reputable Companies That Faced Massive Data Breaches
Video Cards
Why are Video Cards So Expensive? Here’s the Answer
Kensington
The 20 Best Seafood Restaurants in NYC
Seattle Center
The 20 Best Hotels in Seattle 2019
The 10 Best Golf Courses in all of Ireland
The 20 Best Seafood Restaurants in Boston
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Class
The 10 Best Mercedes GLC Models of All-Time
Best Cadillac Escalade Models
The 10 Best Cadillac Escalade Models of All-Time
Best Ford Ranger Models
The 10 Best Ford Ranger Models of All-Time
Best Ford Explorer Models
The 10 Best Ford Explorer Models of All-Time
The 20 Best Skagen Watches of All-Time
Oris Martini Racing Limited Edition
The 20 Best Oris Watches of All Time
Timex Men's Weekender Tan Leather Strap AnalogWatch
The 20 Best Timex Watches of All-Time
Orient Mako XL
The 20 Best Orient Watches of All-Time