One of the best and perhaps most challenging skills for leaders to learn is the fine art of delegation. Done well, it is a powerful tool to grow someone’s leadership abilities. Done poorly, it is nothing short of a nightmare. John Maxwell has some wise words about delegation that are worth sharing:
“Easing people into delegation is important…if you want them to succeed. Delegate according to the following steps: 1. ask them to be fact finders only; 2. ask them to make suggestions; 3. ask them to implement one of their recommendations, but only after you give your approval; 4. ask them to take action on their own, but to report the results immediately; 5. give complete authority.”
I would add that clearly communicating the process and the expectations ahead of time would be a critical piece. In my experience, the “delegatee” always thinks they are ready for more before the “delegator” feels that they are ready. Clearly communicating the plan before hand eliminates hurt feelings, etc.
If you are looking to gain more responsibility, or if you are looking for a good way to “test drive” a young leader, offering this plan might be a great way to start.
What experiences do you have with delegating? Were they positive or negative?
What advice might you add or disagree with?