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Letting Go: How to Truly Delegate

Delegation can often be a difficult thing to embrace. But by fully understanding the freeing power of delegation, selecting the best employees for the job and contextualizing failure as an opportunity, you can harness the power of delegation and empower your employees to become leaders.

Find new freedom. 

There is no business tool more vital to the success of a company than the power of delegation. When you can completely trust your employees with various projects and know they will be completed correctly and on schedule, you will discover a new freedom.

“Delegation frees up time for planning and organizing,” said James A. Baker, founder and CEO of Baker Communications. “Most managers would like to have more time to get a handle on planning and organization. This is an important part of managing any team, and it’s difficult to work it in between all your other tasks when you’re carrying too heavy a workload.”

Does delegation mean you will have to completely give up those projects? No, because if you delegate correctly, employees will know you are available for guidance and questions along the way. Employees also know they are in charge with full accountability for the outcome.

Select the best delegates.

You can delegate with confidence when you hire correctly and trust your employees’ abilities. Hiring the right person for the job takes skill. You should, of course, “match the requirements of the job to the abilities of the person,” said Brian Tracy, a sales trainer and international best-selling author. “Be sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.” But even more than that, make sure to hire for culture fit as well as skill set.

Give me people who are hardworking, honest and willing to try their best, and I will easily delegate to them. They may not have any experience in that field, but they will succeed if they are willing to learn and are eager to excel. On the other hand, those who have experience, but are arrogant, will oftentimes do a subpar job or fail.

Effectively address disappointment.

When a delegated task fails to meet deadlines or expectations, managers must remember that they are teachers as well as leaders. Managers have the ability to turn that failure into a positive, career-growing experience through careful coaching.

When addressing a failure, schedule a one-on-one meeting with the employee and initiate an open discussion about the challenges of the project. Go into the meeting with a loving heart and ask questions like, “Can you help me understand why you chose to do the project that way?” or “Can we talk about what happened and how it affected the company?” If you want to change behavior, you need to listen.

Broached in this manner, employees tend to open up and better communicate their struggles. Ultimately, you will discover stronger advocates in those employees, and they won’t disappoint you again.

Enjoy the positive effects of delegation.

Delegating is not always easy — in fact, only a small percentage of business owners can do it effectively. But once you have made that paradigm shift, the benefits are numerous. Delegating frees up time in your busy, meeting-filled calendar. It also empowers your employees, stimulates creativity, increases the drive to succeed and gives them the opportunity to produce impressive results. Most importantly, it produces leaders quickly. If you want to increase your employees’ leadership skills, self-worth, confidence and skills, then go ahead and delegate. Watch your business succeed while you take a well-deserved vacation.

This article was written by David K. Williams from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The information in this article is presented as-is and does not necessarily reflect the views of First Republic Bank.

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