Countless business details require constant attention from servant leaders who care enough to ensure the best possible outcome. In the earliest days of a business, there is ONE person whose oversight guides the operation through every twist and turn. After a certain point, growth demands that the team is expanded and duties are assigned.
Where is the line between dumping off the worst tasks and delegating to team members who love to do what I avoid?
“I don’t have a problem with delegation. I love to delegate.
I am either lazy enough, or busy enough, or trusting enough, or congenial enough,
that the notion leaving tasks in someone else’s lap
doesn’t just sound wise to me, it sounds attractive.”
~ John Ortberg
Discover Talents in the Team Members
As the team is assembled, the tasks that make up the new role can be delegated to those who wish to fulfill the role. Even in an outsourcing situation, the work is assigned to someone who is applying for the new role. Throughout the development of the new role, the leader is observing the quality of work. The team member might express surprise at his abilities to conquer new challenges.
The primary reason to delegate to others is to discover what each person likes to do. Everyone should have the opportunity to try new tasks and even hand one of those tasks back because someone would be better able to do the work well. The leader will offer a chance to say, “no, thank you” when making assignments within the team.
“The way you delegate is that first you have to hire people
that you really have confidence in. You won’t truly let those people
feel a sense of autonomy if you don’t have confidence in them.”
~ Robert Pozen
Prepare Members for Opportunities
In the flurry of activity leading up to expansion and promotion, everyone should have a chance to take a glimpse inside the new role. Few people understand what is inside a supervisory role until the promotion is accepted. To avoid missteps, some assignments should be made to reveal the duties that will be involved. At times, the candidate will discover that the visible part of the role is not representative of the actual role.
🗪 Supervisor or Manager — leading and developing people while overseeing the operation
🗪 Administration — support for the revenue-generating activities
🗪 Operations — processes and procedures for the entire organization
🗪 Customer Support — handling customer complaints and solving problems
🗪 Executive Interaction — attending meetings where answers are presented
Every professional discovers these roles by experimenting or by accepting an unwanted promotion. The time saved through delegation is better for the business, the team and the individual. Without delegation, the individuals have to hope that the new role is understood. Delegation offers a great glimpse into the role without wasting the effort to apply for the new position without enough information.
“I think part of being a good leader is listening skills,
and I think a big part of leadership is the ability to delegate.”
~ Joe Maddon
Replace Yourself With a Look to the Future
Great leaders discover the strengths inside the team while growing into an ever-expanding comfort zone where most of their time is spent developing others. To achieve this level, the novice leader delegates to team members to expand their skills while creating the perfect workday for himself. Strengths enable the leader to think clearly and avoid the mistakes that can happen when struggling against weaknesses.
Delegation might be uncomfortable at first, but with some practice, the entire team benefits from passing around duties until the best fit is found. Expanding the team takes on new meaning when the needs of the business dictate the content of each role. Leaders are constantly noticing the gaps in the team. Instead of expressing concern, delegation of tasks will fill the gaps and guide the addition of a new role.
Leaders who are willing to allow others close enough to take over some duties will enjoy business life. As business takes on the enjoyment of a puzzle, the entire team will mention ways to improve the outcome for the customers.
“From a young age, I learned to focus on the things I was good at
and delegate to others what I was not good at. That’s how Virgin is run.
Fantastic people throughout the Virgin Group run our businesses,
allowing me to think creatively and strategically.” ~ Richard Branson
Servant Leaders Expect Great Results
Following the reassigning of a task, the leader will stay close enough to complete the training and observe the outcome. This situation can be uncomfortable for the team member if the leaders appears to lack trust. That fine line is difficult to define if the trust has not been developed before this point in time. Both leader and team member will want to speak openly about how to know if the work is being completed on time and with acceptable quality.
The team member will be asked to initiate contact with questions and updates throughout the workday. Any issues that arise will be noted quickly and the leader will be encouraged to offer more guidance. In these instances, the team member has more freedom to do the work in his own way without feeling watched.
Together, the leader and team member will transfer the assigned tasks and know that the work is covered because both people are willing to Ask More Questions! Open communication will build trust every step of the way!
“Delegate to others who have strengths where you don’t.
But sometimes, you just need to be the one to drive the change
when everyone else is waiting for someone else to take the first step.
To me, that’s courage in action.” ~ Robin S. Sharma