LEADERS KNOW: Delegation

It seems that for many in leadership roles-whether leading your family, managing a fast food restaurant, teaching a classroom of students, coaching a team, leading a friend group, leading a small group in your home-leaders are asked to do more than they are capable of on their own.

This can, at times, be quite overwhelming. Looking at the number of responsibilities that you have, looking at the time on the clock, and the calendar on your phone…there is realistically not enough time for you alone to do all of that.

When these moments come, I believe the healthy leader is separated from the unhealthy leader by the next step he or she takes.

The unhealthy leader powers on. Drinking more coffee, getting less sleep, working longer hours to get the job done. And boy do things get done! That checklist is full of marks, those endorphins are kicking in because you’re on the move!

The healthy leader ponders the tension, and looks for ways to give away responsibility. The healthy leader actively pursues delegating.

Delegation is a powerful tool. It’s a multiplication strategy that leads to more work accomplished in less time and often of better quality. John Maxwell has said that if someone can do something 80% as well as you can, hand it off to them.

Andy Stanley says,

“The less you do, the more you accomplish and the more you enable others to accomplish… When we delegate what we’re not good at to the right person, we give another leader in our organization an opportunity to shine. One person’s weakness is another person’s opportunity”

Healthy leaders know they need to delegate, and they do it. They find other leaders in the organization who are maybe not using their full potential, and the healthy leader calls them up to a new task and responsibility. Giving away responsibility helps enable others to take ownership and develop as a leader themselves.

Delegation is hard stuff; but it is effective and it trains up and develops new leaders. It raises up a new generation of leaders who have been given challenges, had the opportunity to take risks and make mistakes in relatively safe environments.

There are responsibilities in our leadership roles that we are not great at. Certain things are definitely in our skill and ability–that’s why we’re in this particular role anyway, right?-but there are other things asked of us or required of us that we just aren’t great at. Those are great things to delegate because “one person’s weakness is another person’s opportunity.” Chances are there is someone in your organization with that skill set you don’t have. Delegating the responsibility to them is a powerful move from a healthy leader.

Healthy leaders give away responsibility. Unhealthy leaders hoard responsibility and, if they delegate anything, they delegate tasks.

What do you need to start delegating today? Who in your organization could you help raise up to own that responsibility?

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