DELEGATE!

Every good leader uses leadership tools to drive teams to obtain superior results (Simons, 2010). Good leaders are coaches; and a good coach develops good trainees who are prepared for higher assignments. To prepare followers, good leaders delegate. Delegation in its raw and broad sense, seeks to handover responsibility to employees who may be affected by leadership decisions or to empower followers to implement decisions that may affect them. Delegating is to entrust, assign or to pass on a task to teams so to empower and subsequently grant them authority to make certain decisions. Delegation is not participation (Pearson, 2019). It is more concerned with empowerment, responsibility, autonomy, responsibility, and more importantly, follower development and not participation. Research confirms that leaders who are experts in delegation are happier than leaders who don’t practice delegation. Without a doubt, delegation is a skill.

“Delegating must be motivating and exciting for both leader and follower”

Leaders who fail in their roles sing a common chorus ‘I wish I delegated more’. Delegation gives leaders more room to embark on important activities by being strategic and thinking ahead. The other side is the fact that delegation is an art that seeks to develop teams by providing them with real-world experiences in a defined environment. Some leaders are not good at delegation.  They may perhaps have good reasons for not delegating. Some feel their roles may be taken over. Delegation in actual fact, takes leaders too much time especially in the short term, although it is worthwhile and thus saves time in the long term. Some leaders are not comfortable delegating because their fear is that the task may not be executed properly. Others may also resist delegating tasks to protect their prestige and supremacy. Institutions encourage delegation to grow more leaders to replenish their leadership pool. Organizations also grow the right and healthy signals that junior colleagues can be trusted and thus job satisfaction levels are also impacted, positively. Delegation has guiding principles and when it is well applied, the results are always awesome. As a leader, decide on exactly what you want to delegate and be sure of who you intend to delegate to.

The key message here is that delegating must be motivating for both leader and follower. The very moment employees see delegation as not too exciting but rather a leader offloading his tasks unto teams, the process in general, and the followers in particular suffer a recoil.  Leaders must clarify tasks and be more specific with instructions in delegation. Task specificity clears delivery hurdles. Leaders must be clear of objectives and also create room for monitoring and evaluation. Leaders must be strategic to use delegation as a tool for learning and creating opportunities by sometimes observing how junior colleagues handle power, people, influence, and tasks. Delegate liked and spiteful tasks and provide support as always. Good leaders delegate to different followers to create a healthy working environment. If you ever have trust issues in delegating, delegate more! But don’t abdicate the task and your role. Delegate. A leader must build teams who are willing with the necessary capacity and motivation to get tasks executed at all times.

This is Leadership!

Richard Ahenkorah
Author: Richard K. Ahenkorah

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