Delegation is a 3-Way Street

I do a lot of speaking and training with managers who are looking forward to positions of leadership in the future.  As we work through the obstacles we face in our journey, one of the toughest seems to be our ability to delegate.

Delegation is difficult for three reasons:

  • we don’t trust anyone to do our work
  • we don’t think we have the time to train others
  • we think no one can do it better than ourselves

Of course, all three are all lousy reasons not to delegate.  But rather than look at the obstacles, let’s look at the benefits.

Three parties stand to benefit from you or me taking the time and energy and courage to start delegating more in the workplace:

  • you
  • the recipient
  • the organization

You benefit immediately from the time it frees up that will allow you to do other things.  As a potential leader, it’s time to spend time on more strategic ideas, actions and planning.  It’s time to take on more responsibility from others ahead of you as they learn to delegate better. And it’s time to learn through education, research and exploration.

The recipient benefits in many ways.  He/she begins to learn what it will take to get to the next level.  They are introduced to new ideas, tools and more, and they get to meet a whole new crop of people in your organization and beyond. And they are introduced to new challenges and responsibilities that will lead them to the next level.

The organization benefits as new blood takes on the work that makes the organization tick.  And surprise, surprise – that new blood brings new life into that work: a new approach, new tools or new technology that gets it done more efficiently or maybe with new outcomes that can, in turn, benefit you, the individual doing the work, and the organization.  

Delegation is not easy, but if we look at the benefits right up front, the effort it will take seems well worth it.


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