Delegation. On the one hand it sounds great to take a few items off your list, but it can be difficult to let go of tasks, train someone, and feel comfortable with that transition. So when should you delegate?
- Delegate when doing so will provide a learning/stretch opportunity for the person being delegated to. "If I get my supervisors to run our quarterly meeting, they'll gain facilitation and presentation experience."
Delegate when the task is taking you away from more important work. For example, if attending to new employee orientation is preventing you from attending an important strategic task force, consider delegating.
Delegate when you want to test an employee's readiness for promotion. "If Jane does well on this project team, I'll consider her for our next project lead job."
Delegate to increase the visibility of your staff in the organization. To grow and support your team, you'll want to find opportunities for them to shine and build relationships with the "higher ups" in the company.
Delegate to provide cross-training for backup purposes. "I want Mike to know how to run the financials in case I'm sick or absent when the budget meeting rolls around."
And the one reason NOT to delegate?
Because you are "the boss" and find the task "beneath you." Avoid passing off unpleasant tasks to your team out of laziness or indulgence. While you can probably get away with this behavior, you would be sending a message to your team that leadership is about tending to your own needs.
Anything to add? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your tips on delegating, and when it's appropriate.