After working overtime you get home drained. You look at the clock and wonder how so many hours flew by at work. You think to yourself “I did a ton of work and tasks today, I work so hard and do so much for my organization.”
Finally you think “I really did not accomplish what I wanted to today.”
How does that make sense? Working hard but not accomplishing much? What fell through if you were constantly “busy”? What happened?
Answer: You’re not working on the right things.
Better Answer: You’re not delegating in order to work on the right things.
Delegation is critical to success as a leader in any organization. There are no super-human leaders that can do everything; people can only work on one or two major tasks in order to be effective. Working on ten different tasks throughout the day may show you’re efficient, but it will never show you are effective.
Three reasons why you need (not want) to delegate to your directs:
1. You can only do one to two priorities. You can never do four or more priorities. Everything may seem like a priority in the work place, but not everything can be a priority. There may be five priorities that you and your team need to execute, and doing the majority of them only guarantees nothing gets done. Focus on the one or two main tasks that only you can get done, and everything else should be delegated to your directs.
2. Your directs will develop in the organization, and thank you for it. Delegating tasks that you do will help directs below you learn and move forward. For example, a weekly task you do is to fill out a report and send it to another department. You delegate that to your direct, who has never filled out this report. The first few tries they stumble, but you course correct and help them through it. With proper coaching and guidance, eventually your direct will gain the experience needed to complete the reports you do weekly and have the confidence to do more for you in the future.
3. Your team will love you for it. The more you delegate as a leader, the more involved a team feels with that leader. Common fears of delegation are: “My team doesn’t need more work load” or “my team will think I am lazy”. Always the opposite. Trusting your team with your tasks shows a commitment not only to their development, but that you want them to play a greater role in the organization. This empowerment and team engagement is what separates the average teams from the stellar teams and shows you care about development.
When your directs share more of your workload, you have time for the right things: people development, one on one meetings, setting goals and focusing on the mission of your organization.
Being a leader is not about running yourself down every day; it’s about delegating what you need to in order to lead your team effectively.