Why The Best Leaders Delegate?
Join Entrepreneur's The Goal Standard Challenge and make 2017 yours. Learn more »
Being a leader is tough. Whether you're a CEO of a big company, trying to run a small business, or even in charge at a volunteer or non-profit organization, it can be exceedingly tough to have so much responsibility on your shoulders. For this reason, it's safe to say that the best leaders simply delegate out the work. A trend throughout history, one of the most important things about being any type of manager is having a supportive, knowledgeable staff at your side.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of delegating out responsibility is the amount of time it saves. Giving tasks to others simply saves you a lot of time at the end of the day. A smart CEO or leader takes that extra time and focuses more on how to grow his or her business.
A common mistake of a leader or CEO is an attempt to take everything on themselves. Many of the clients of the successful company King of Maids use the popular cleaning service to reduce chores so they can concentrate on growing their business.
A quick look at Woodrow Wilson's presidency in the United States shows a frustrated man who attempted to take too much on when it came to leading the country. Not only did he not delegate well, he also chose an inefficient Cabinet to work with. Even if he had wanted to delegate tasks out, his support staff most likely would have been unable to carry them out.
Choosing the Right People
It is true that you want to save time and focus on your business, but you also don't want to delegate tasks out to just anyone. A good chunk of leadership is also choosing the staff that will support you. Look for knowledgeable, attentive staff with a lot of experience. You want to breathe easily as you go about your day after delegating tasks. You don't want to be in the position of checking up on your staff, or worse – having to go back over their tasks and correct their mistakes.
Empower Your Staff
Choosing the right staff also leads to the ability to empower them. The best leaders and CEOs work well with their support staff, but also find ways to motivate and empower them while delegating tasks. Employees at a company with no potential for growth, or no reward system, will either be unhappy employee's, or will not stay.
It becomes tough to delegate tasks when you have an ever-revolving support staff beneath you. Also, encourage creativity and idea-expressing within your company. CEO, Filip Boksa from the successful company King of Maids writes, "Letting employees test out their ideas will not only keep them engaged, but it may also lead to additional revenue streams." A true organization promotes from within.
Don't Just Delegate Downward
Delegating tasks isn't limited to just your support staff and those "beneath" you in the company. To be a successful leader, you will have to delegate to your peers as well as your support staff.
If you are a CFO, for instance, there may be times where a task is better suited for your CEO. You need to be bold enough and take the initiative to do so. This also applies to those serving on a board or equal governing authority where many of the board are equals, so to speak.
You must be able to delegate out tasks without seeming too bossy or authoritative. To keep an organization running smoothly, someone must take the initiative, and it will help you grow as a leader.
Explain the Task and Praise the Task
In a moment of frustration, it is common to delegate out tasks without completely explaining the project. Unless you have a support staff that can read your mind, this usually leads to disaster. Always have the same, consistent standards for your support staff, and explain things as best as you can. While it may seem time-consuming now to explain a project, a great leader knows when to slow down and show patience. If you have picked the wrong person for the job, it may be time to re-delegate. Always share in the rewards and praise for a task done right, especially one that has been delegated out.
Delegating will save you time and create revenue, provided you focus on growing your business. However, delegating is a lot more than assigning tasks – it will take a bit of time to succeed at it and ultimately build a support staff that truly has your back.