Yesterday I posted about the principle that letting go of responsibilities, even for the control freak leader like me, actually improves the organization. You can read that post HERE.
Obviously, when you address the principle of letting go, which could also be called delegation, it opens a huge question for those wired as completers. The question is: HOW? How do you let go of responsibility when you are wired so heavily towards not doing so?
With that question in mind, here are 4 “Easy” Steps to Delegation:
Identify – Find something that would be better delegated, either because you aren’t as skilled as others, don’t have adequate time to commit to it, or have lost interest.
Match – Find the right person/s for the responsibility based on passion, experience, and follow through capabilities. This can be volunteer or paid, but pick people that will do what they say they will do and that you trust, otherwise you will constantly be looking over their shoulder. (Please don’t say there is no one to trust in your organization. If that’s the case, you either need to change organizations or change the leader…just saying.)
Release – This is the “letting go” part. Few leaders really do this well. Knowing this is the difficult part, you should read THIS POST and THIS POST and THIS POST for more on this process. You must give up your right to control.
Follow Up – If you are the overall leader, even when you delegate you have some responsibility. Set a reminder on your calendar to periodically follow up with the person, but stay out of their way as they complete the assignment.
I realize it’s not easy for some to let go of (delegate) responsibility. It comes with discipline and practice. One way to improve at this is to consider the overall purposes and goals of the organization, recognizing that they can better be attained through delegation, and allow accomplishing them to be the leader’s principal responsibility. When the drive towards completing is aimed towards a bigger vision goal that includes delegating, letting go to achieve greater success receives more motivation.
How are you at delegating? What tips do you have to be better at letting others take over some of your responsibility?