Not Much of Significance is Accomplished by One Person Working Alone.
I’m sure you can jump right on that and come up with an example or two in refute of this statement. But even someone who is “seemingly” working alone is more than likely relying on many things to accomplish their mission that they themselves do not bring into being. So, let’s say…in general…and absolutely in leadership, you aren’t going to leverage your ability to make an impact by yourself. You have to involve others, and you have to do so in a big way if you are leading.
That seems so obvious, doesn’t it?
And yet, here we are, you are reading an article about how to get “comfortable” with doing the very thing you seemingly HAVE to do in order to be an effective leader and GROWER, of people.
I have had the opportunity to train, mentor, and coach many leaders in my career (across the globe), and one thing most of them have in common (and I do too), is that they have a really hard time letting go/delegating things.
Why is it Hard?
Because it’s not natural. And it’s especially tough for someone who is newer in leadership. The why of this is pretty simple. Leaders get into a position to lead by being doers. By getting the job done well. By making an impact through their performance. It’s what they know and it’s what they are comfortable with.
“If you want something done right….”
In leadership, the dynamic of the role is different. You can no longer simply rely on your skill set and proficiency in your field to get the job done, because now it’s about getting the job done through serving and developing others in the work. The same risks you took on yourself when you were building your credibility to the point that it created the opportunity to move into a leadership position (or if you built your own business, the same applies here), you have to grant to others.
It’s a tougher nut to swallow, because while you are going to be delegating the work, you don’t get to delegate the ultimate responsibility for the work getting done. If you give a role to Bob, and Bob doesn’t perform, sure Bob is on the hook with you, but you are also on the hook for whoever you are accountable to, be it stakeholders, shareholders, your boss, or anyone else you can fill in the blank with. But you have to do it, because otherwise, you become an airtight lid on the potential of the team, or organization you lead. It cannot grow without you developing and growing people, and you cannot do that without getting good at delegating (among other things)
You Have to Make it a Process
Like everything else that leads to a tangible, sustainable result in life, there is a process involved. The first thing you have to do is understand where this fits in the big picture of the leadership process. When you are looking at the big picture of developing and leading, the situational leadership lens is one of the smartest progressions you can incorporate. In short, the path starts with training, moves to coaching, then into support, and finally delegation. This can be applied at a micro-level with a skill/task, and it can be applied at a macro-level with the development of the human being and roles.
The micro-level is a smart path to manage growing technical proficiency in the work and the macro-level is a proven path to grow people to build a strong team, where high collaboration and synergy are the order of the day.
When you use the delegation aspect the right way, you instill self-belief and confidence into those you are leading, and this goes hand in hand with the high trust that will be a natural out-cropping of this approach.
There are multiple parts of the process, depending on the complexity of what you are doing and what you are delegating. While that aspect isn’t the topic of today’s article, the video below will provide you with a template you can incorporate that will help you begin to understand what to consider when deciding to delegate. Adding this to a formula for the actual process of the delegation, and a formula for the conversation preceding it, will go a long way in helping you get comfortable in using and developing this important leadership competency.
If you found value here, please share this content and site with others.
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
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