Accelerating the Advancement of Women Leaders 


August 20, 2018

When individual contributors move into management, or even lead an ad hoc team or task force, it can be difficult to transition from thinking every task is one you have to complete yourself, to realizing that empowering other team members will be key to your success.

Delegation is a critical skill for career advancement and goes well beyond simply assigning work to others. Well thought-out delegation can free you to focus on higher-level tasks, areas you are best suited to, or items on the critical path. The most effective delegation also allows you to develop greater trust in a coworker or direct report and enables that individual to shine in a new light.

Some folks are poor delegators because they have difficulty relinquishing control or accepting alternative ways of accomplishing something. But often, the real issue is lack of organization. To delegate effectively, you need adequate systems and structure that make the work clear to others. Ask yourself these questions before assigning tasks to others:

  • Can I explain the project and desired outcomes well enough for someone else to run with it?
  • Will the individual have access to the people and resources needed to succeed?
  • Am I open to various ways of meeting the goal or is it my way or nothing?
  • Does the person taking on the task have the right skills, mindset and interest to complete the project at a high level?
  • Do they have time to do a good job?
  • Will I be able to invest my time more productively elsewhere if this task is taken off my plate?
  • What systems can I put in place to monitor the project and intervene with support if necessary well before a finished product is expected?

Being in a position to delegate is a great opportunity. To make the most of it, make sure you organize the work, resources and expectations before sharing the load.

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