6 Tips for Delegating as a Leader


One of the struggles that we see many new SPEARity members struggling with is overwhelm. This looks different depending on your situation and position. For those that are “solopreneurs”, it’s being overwhelmed from wearing all of those hats that come from running a business. For executives, it might be the overwhelm of leading a large staff and the struggles that come along with that. And, for those in the middle, like new managers, it’s the overwhelm of learning how to take on a new role with additional tasks. That’s why today we’re discussing delegating as a leader.

A quick note for solopreneurs

If you’re running your business on your own, don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you. In order to grow your business, there is generally going to come a time when you must delegate.

And, that doesn’t have to mean hiring employees.

You can delegate to contractors, professionals, and freelancers. Here are some examples:

  • Hire a virtual assistant to take some tasks off your plate.
  • Hire a freelancer to handle your bookkeeping.
  • Outsource customer service to a freelancer.
  • Work with an attorney on drafting contracts.
  • Hire a web designer or copywriter to build your website or a content writer to write your blog posts.
  • Work with a social media team to handle your online marketing.

There are numerous ways that you can delegate to others (even with a small budget) in order to accomplish more in your business. Even if you’re capable of doing the task yourself, it can be worth the time to pay someone else to do it if you can then spend your time on something that will make you more money.

Tips for delegating as a leader

It’s perfectly normal to struggle with delegation. It can be uncomfortable. Manager delegation is hard because the results fall on you even though you aren’t technically doing the work. You probably got to the position you’re in right now by working hard. You were able to feel in control of what was happening. But, when you start to delegate, you must relinquish that control—to a certain extent.

To succeed as a leader and manager, delegation is key. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Avoid micromanaging

There is nothing worse for an employee than being given a task to do but having no freedom to complete it.

When you delegate a task, you need to be able to communicate the desired results, any requirements or stipulations that come with the task, and then let it go. If there’s a system in place then train your employee on the system. But, you don’t have to babysit them while they complete the work.

Giving your employees the freedom to find the best way to complete a task allows them to use their skills. They may know of a better way to do it than you do. And, while that might be hard to accept, allowing your employees freedom to flourish in their own areas is a sign of a great leader.

In short, when you delegate, give the details that are necessary along with the goal, and then let them fill in the rest. If not, you’re just wasting time.

2. Provide the right resources

Good leaders make sure that their team has access to the resources that they need in order to complete a task. If you’re going to delegate something, it’s your responsibility to make sure the other person has what they need in order to succeed.

3. Remember that authority goes hand-in-hand with delegation

When delegating a task it’s important to also delegate the authority that the employee needs in order to succeed in accomplishing it. They shouldn’t have to come to you constantly to get your approval to do the job that you assigned them.

If you did your job in providing them with the required information, resources, and desired results, then let them have the authority to do the job.

4. Be available

On the other hand, remember that you’re still the leader and you can’t just disappear. It’s important that you make yourself available if they have questions for you as they work on completing the task. This is especially important in the beginning as you and your team learn how to work together through the process.

5. Choose the right people

Delegating a task to someone that does not have the skills or experience to complete the work is only going to cause both of your unnecessary stress. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to make sure the person you’re delegating tasks to is able to complete them.

6. Use the 15-minute meeting

Our Milwaukee business coaches teach the importance of the 15-minute meeting. There can be a lot of wasted time at meetings, but when you use the 15-minute meeting system, you reduce that time while still touching base with your employees. This allows you to check-in on the progress of the delegated task with micromanaging and provides your employee with a chance to ask any questions.

Choose one area to improve today

I’m going to challenge you to choose one action step to take today. It could be improving the way you’re already delegating or choosing one thing to delegate in order to avoid overwhelm.

If you’re interested in more information on the 15-minute meeting or how our Milwaukee-based business coaching works, contact us today to speak with a SPEARity business coach. We are SPEARity, a local Milwaukee business coaching firm that specializes in executive coaching and leadership development training.

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