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How to Delegate Better and Become a Great Leader

Leadership Tips - TBM Payroll, Glens Falls, NY

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

How to Delegate Better and Become a Great Leader

If you want to help your key team members reach their goals, advance in their careers and provide more value to your company, it’s essential to learn to delegate like a boss.

1. Understand what’s holding you back from delegating now.

Frequently, micromanaging bosses shy away from delegating due to fear that the job won’t be done “right,” or a belief that it will take longer to explain than to simply do it yourself.

Effective delegation may require a bit more time and attention upfront. But, that’s how we all learn new skills — by repetition and practice. Once the employee learns how to handle that task efficiently, the investment pays off in more time and space for you, as well as enhanced productivity for your company.

2. Know what to delegate and what to keep.

Deciding which tasks to delegate can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task itself. Think about it in terms of time management. You’re working on letting go of things that are weighing you down. Primarily, you’ll want to identify two different types of tasks:

  • Tasks that are not within your primary skillset: You could do them, but it would take you longer than someone who has a lot of experience and skill in that area.
  • Tasks that anyone can do: If anyone could complete these tasks, then they don’t need your special attention.

3. Create a delegation process.

To make delegation a seamless part of your workflow, think about creating a business system that supports delegating all kinds of tasks.

Start with a time management exercise in which you look at how you spend your days. Make a list of all the specific tasks that need delegating, then think of one or more employees who would be a good fit for those tasks.

Another way to create a more systemized approach to delegation is to create a simple template for delegation memos (or email message if that’s more convenient for you). Use designated fields for the following:

  • A clear definition of the task: Delegation often fails in the instructions. “Here, take care of this” isn’t enough information for your employee to hit your desired performance metrics. Be clear. “Write a 500-word summary of our new product line. Aim for an audience of investors and business partners.”
  • The deadline: Providing a “due-by” date keeps the delegated task on track.
  • The context, if applicable: Explaining where a task fits into the larger business picture helps your employee shoulder the responsibility more effectively.
  • Any brief notes or guidance that will make successful task completion easier for your employee, especially if it’s their first time with a certain task.

4. Keep yourself in the loop.

Follow up on delegated tasks. For larger projects, ask for regular briefings to make sure you’re on top of the overall progress or big-picture view. To be a successful delegator you need to let go of some degree of control, so don’t micromanage the “how.” Just make sure you’re aware of the current status and available to answer questions.

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