Learning how to delegate could literally mean the difference between life and death. You might think I’m overstating my case, but I will never forget the lunch with a friend who had a heart attack at 39 years of age.
I observed, learned and applied! (Don’t try to do it all by yourself, Dave.)
I know way too many leaders who are doers, but not delegators. They haven’t learned how to train and give responsibilities to others. There are leaders who assume they are delegating when they give tasks to others but unless they give away the responsibility for making decisions, they are still involved in all the details. And all these details for all these various responsibilities resting with them (with you) will do them in.
Read Exodus 18 in this regard.
It’s when you begin giving away the power to make decisions that a whole new level of leadership opens up. People are empowered, your load is lightened and new ideas begin to get implemented. Will people fail…of course they will, and that is when you sit down and go over what happened. The hope is that they then make more, but wiser, decisions.
“But I can do it myself so much faster than it would take to train and let somebody else do it.”
In the short run this may sound doable, but in the long run that philosophy will send you to an early grave. Some leaders are fearful of delegating responsibility.
- Fearful that people may fail.
- Fearful that people may outshine or outperform them.
People to whom you delegate will fail and some will do it better than you could. You can deal with both of these fears if you are secure in Jesus and who he made you to be.
But, if as a leader you are insecure, you have a whole other issue you need to face.
Here are some awesome ideas from Michael Hyatt on “Levels of Authority.” I have shared these five levels with numerous leaders I coach.
Understanding and applying these five levels will take your leadership to an entirely new level and tap into the gifts and creativity of those on your team and under your employ. You goal is to, over time, have everyone who reports to you at level four or five.
It is all about trust: trusting the Lord and trusting those who work for you and with you.
Levels of Authority, Michael Hyatt:
As a leader, whenever you delegate a task, you need to make it clear what level of authority you are conferring to others:
Level 1: Do exactly what I have asked you to do. Don’t deviate from my instructions. I have already researched the options and determined what I want you to do
Level 2: Research the topic and report back. We will discuss it, and then I will make the decision and tell you what I want you to do.
Level 3: Research the topic, outline the options, and make a recommendation. Give me the pros and cons of each option, but tell me what you think we should do. If I agree with your decision, I will authorize you to move forward.
Level 4: Make a decision and then tell me what you did. I trust you to do the research, make the best decision you can, and then keep me in the loop. I don’t want to be surprised by someone else.
Level 5: Make whatever decision you think is best. No need to report back. I trust you completely. I know you will follow through. You have my full support.