Leadership and The Fine Art of Delegation

Peter B. GiblettStarred Page By Peter B. Giblett, 20th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Leadership

Learning to delegate is a skill that every new manager must learn in order that they grow. It is a fact that we all wish to jump in and get the task completed, yet delegating correctly is actually better for the business unit and ultimately it develops the skills and level of knowledge of the whole team. This is the first part of a series about leadership in business

Letting go of the Details

Much of the art of delegation is about breaking each and every project into workable components and entrusting the tasks to a group of competent individuals will be able to complete the work and much of this depends on having a competent team involved in completing the project and perhaps remains one of the greatest challenges for the new manager. Delegation arguably requires a mutual level of understanding of the things that need to be completed and when they should be completed, it is argued that delegation skills are rarely well understood by management in general let alone by the new manager, one of the problems being that an effective worker can be ineffective at assigning responsibilities to members of a team that they now run.

Effective delegation helps to reduce processing time for the project and requires collective brilliance from the team under the leadership of its manager (whether new or experienced). This should be seen at the heart of the team that functions as a well oiled machine.

Letting go of the details can be a difficult thing for any boss to do. Many often try to do everything because they think that they are the only person to understand all of the details or perhaps that no one else can do it as well as them, yet this is the wrong approach. In fact asking assistance from others is not demonstrating a weakness, but instead a sign of self assurance and indeed really a sign of strong management and strong leadership. Yet many managers tend to remember how effective they were at completing the task at hand and feel the need to jump right in, yet they should not - the task is one for their team to complete, not them alone. In fact letting go of the details actually empowers a manager to take things to the next level; it is about leadership and will enable them to understand the bigger picture.

Letting Go of 'Command & Control' Leadership | Tom Walter

Let Go & Lead: Meg Wheatley - Leaders must be curious

Positive Work Environment

As a manager it is important to establish a positive work environment where employees are not paralysed by the fear of failure, the manager must act a guide in moving projects forwards, remember it is important to let honesty be the face of your management style and delegation is about leveraging each employee's true potential. Alongside the glory tasks sometimes there is a need to find people willing to take on unpleasant tasks, yet they must be rewarded for it, even by a simple 'thank you', in fact most of the time people prefer recognition for their efforts over monetary reward.

Delegating work to subordinates and team members is, of course, one of the most important aspects of any manager’s function. It eases the workload of the team and helps the people acquire new skills as necessary. Leaders should be very careful about the way they delegate work to team members, it should be done with team goals in mind. Give a clear picture of what needs to be done, ensure the people undertaking the work know exactly what outcome is expected. Be clear about the deadlines involved and gain a clear vision of the intended outcome.

Wherever possible delegate the whole task, instead of assigning bits of it to different members of the team. Make them responsible for completion, it shows trust builds the relationship. Overall it is best to delegate in terms of objectives or deliverables rather than procedures or tasks.

The Challenge of the Problem Solver

The next article in this series looks at the challenge of a problem solver becoming the manager and how they must tackle the fine art of delegation.

Have something to say, then make your point with clarity! To date Peter Giblett has published a wide variety articles on many subjects here on Wikinut plus others on a variety of other sites, these are the most recent articles published include:

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Competent Individuals, Delegate, Delegation, Effective Delegation, Entrusting, Fine Art Of Delegation, Leadership, Management, New Manager, Team Building, Team Leading, The Art Of Delegation

Meet the author

author avatar Peter B. Giblett
Author of "Is your Business Ready? For the Social Media Revolution"

Social media consultant, with C-Level background.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
28th Apr 2014 (#)

very interesting information Peter...

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
28th Apr 2014 (#)

Good evening, Peter. Nicely done. From the article: "In fact asking assistance from others is not demonstrating a weakness, but instead a sign of self assurance and indeed really a sign of strong management and strong leadership." I created Peer Teams at the recovery house as I knew I could not do it all and that the upper phase residents had valuable insight into the structure of the house. If I had done a good job in teaching them accountability and responsibility, they could pass that one to the newest ones. It was difficult at first to relinquish both control and accountability. However, for 15 years it worked well. I look forward to the second part of this series. Good job. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
28th Apr 2014 (#)

Marilyn, my pleasure to assist, I had never thought about the applicability of this concept for recovery work, but thank you for opening my eyes.

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author avatar spirited
29th Apr 2014 (#)

good delegation has got a lot to do with good planning too.

Work delegated out at the last minute to someone almost always increases resentment against the delegator.

I had a bad boss once who always gave me the work he had had on his own desks for weeks to do to me on the very last day that it had to be done by.

I often just left it and went home especially when it was on a Friday arvo, knowing full well that he was too drunk after his lunchtime drinking session to attempt doing it himself.

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author avatar C.D. Moore
29th Apr 2014 (#)

Very important to delegate to avoid burnout, but many don't do it because they fear giving up control. Good informative article, Peter.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
29th Apr 2014 (#)


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author avatar Ptrikha
1st May 2014 (#)

Excellent article, with good examples. Giving overall guidance and leaving the HowTos and avoiding micromanagement is very essential in Organizations.

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author avatar M G Singh
2nd May 2014 (#)

Good take on leadership. Reminds of the lectures of Field Marshal Willian Slim on leadership. They can be applied to corporate world as well.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th May 2014 (#)

How true! Micro managers and "throw you under the bus" managers occur all too often by people who don't have the knack or trust in their teams that is needed to let go or delegate appropriately.

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