Leadership gurus often hint that it is better to trip with your feet than with your lips. In many leadership situations, it shows clearly that when leaders fail to mean what they say and subsequently fail to say what they mean, foundations of trust within relationships develop cracks and subsequently wobble progression to the very core. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies have led many leaders to crossroads of failure. There are specific issues of indecision and leader planning uncertainties which sometimes make leaders somewhat indecisive when delegating tasks and roles. While one school of thought suggests that leaders may seem to protect roles they deem fit when delegating, other workplace researchers and trainers argue that it is natural for followers to think of progressing the workplace ladder with great expectations. In effect, the issue at stake is always about interest.
“Ambitious followers shape Good Leaders.”
Leaders with good and strategic communication skills develop simple ways of harnessing talents and managing follower ambitions. It is good to have ambitious followers sometimes. Follower ambitions must be encouraged and never be discouraged. It’s up to leaders to build requisite skills and capacity to manage such employees. As a matter of fact, ambitious followers shape good leaders. Interestingly, ambitious followers keep sleeping leaders awake. If communication within delegation is not prioritized as part of delegation discussions, a temporary retreat by leaders may seem like an ‘opportunity’ for growth for cunning followers who are always in the crow’s nest looking for ‘openings’ for progression, no matter what. The gloomiest moment at the workplace is when a leader’s ineffectiveness gives rise to leader emergence.
Leaders must learn the art of articulation when delegating. Leaders with good delivery hardly repeat themselves. When leaders communicate clearly with intent, followers see through their vision. Ahenkorah (2018) stated with emphasis that 80% of workplace issues are communication related if not 100%. If a leader cannot articulate the exact role or task that needs to be done or executed during delegation, it will obviously lead to delegation going wrong, ab initio. If a leader cannot explain or better still articulate a task or a responsibility to be delegated, that responsibility or task is dead upon arrival. I have heard followers saying ‘my line manager wouldn’t communicate exactly how he wants things to be done, but he would always find faults with what I do and how I get things done.’
Not all followers are smart and confident to revert to leaders for clarity of intent. Leaders must therefore be open-minded and must make time to make good decisions by thinking through tasks with clarity. This helps with delegation without ambiguities. During communication in delegation, leaders shouldn’t forget the golden speaking process in strategic communication. I mean the STS. To communicate strategically with purpose and intent, leaders should Stop, Think and Start. The STS works like magic. It gets the message across and it builds the seriousness in any leader follower discussion. Communication in delegation is also not taught. It is learned. Communication is not about talking or speaking. It is a process which should be learned and improved along the process. Every good delegation process starts with a strategic communication process.
This is Leadership!