LEADERSHIP: To Delegate or not to Delegate

Many managers get caught up in the conundrum of when and if to delegate a specific task. In our moment of indecision we sometimes find it easier to perform the task ourselves contributing to operational inefficiency as well as robbing our team of the opportunity to make a stronger contribution. There are three key questions that I often use to determine whether to delegate or not.


  1. Does it require your unique skillset?

If it doesn’t require your unique skillset then delegate it without hesitation. A leader’s time is not more valuable than his teams, but we all have a different skillset or a different level of skills. It’s important that each task is aligned with the correct skillset. It’s even more important that a leader not take on more than they can handle in an effort to ensure things get done. There is no nobility in failing because we took on too much. We wage a constant war against time. It’s important that we delegate tasks that someone else can assume in order to free ourselves up for more strategic endeavors. A leader’s job is to communicate the vision, collaborate on the strategy, then support and facilitate that strategy.


 “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.” – Andrew Carnegie


  1. Is it an opportunity for learning?

Just because you can perform a task doesn’t necessarily mean you should. An important part of leadership is mentoring and evolving your team. Ultimately, the goal is to create more leaders. In the end, his team should know what he knows. When the leader moves on there should be a clear successor. Each task is an opportunity for growth and a good leader seeks out these opportunities for his team. Opportunity for growth will be diminished if there is no delegation.


  1. Is it a task that will be repeated?

One of the myths that prevent effective delegation is the premise that it’s quicker to do it myself than to train someone else to do it. That may very well be true, but is that the case the second time the task is required? How about the third time? Repetitive tasks are best delegated so the leader can focus on innovation and strategic endeavors. A leader can fill in occasionally but it makes little sense to execute repetitive tasks on a regular basis.


The more I do, the less I accomplish.



Effective delegation can free up a leader to focus on strategic initiatives, but more importantly it can facilitate the efficiency, evolution and growth of our team. Effective delegation can also increase job satisfaction within our team by challenging them to take on more responsibility in areas that contribute directly to the grander scheme


Do you agree? Let me know what you think. I would love to hear your unique perspective.


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