Why should we delegate? Well the conventional answer to that question is to get smaller tasks or tasks we’re not as good at off our plate so that we can do the things we’re good at and have the time to do. I would suggest that is a view that seems short-sighted. From a transformational leader’s position there is another reason why delegation is important. If you’ve been following my postings you’ll remember I discussed the four “I’s” of transformational leadership. One of those four “I’s” is Intellectual Stimulation. I think that gives us another reason to delegate. Have you thought of looking at those who report to you directly and see where they need to grow in their expertise or experience in your organization? Have you thought about delegating some things to them that will help them grow in their expertise and ability to perform at a higher level?
Obviously delegating based on this reasoning takes a bit more time. First, it leaves you with some things that may not be in your strong suit to work on while your person is taking on that challenging project you delegated to him. It may mean you do some things that others would ordinarily do, but you really want this person to grow in their understanding of a certain task or area of your organization. Second, it will probably mean more supervision time. You are giving them something they need to grow in and so you meet with them more frequently to check progress and understanding of the project. Your one-on-one times will need to be augmented by more frequent meetings to discuss progress on the project. Remember, too, that it’s not just about the project, but about your direct report as well. Obviously we all want things done excellently, but we also want people growing in their ability to contribute to the organization.
Take an inventory of where your direct reports need to grow. Then start looking for projects you can delegate to them that will help them do just that, grow in their ability to contribute to the organization.
We that’s this leader’s view.