Probably the single biggest skill that I developed – one that helped propel me up the leadership ladder – was delegation. The challenge here wasn’t really how to delegate, as I had known that for quite a while, but it was to understand why it was important for me to delegate.
Like many, I often thought it was quicker to do something myself than to get someone else to do it. But this is both flawed thinking and a self-limiting approach and once you understand the benefits of delegating you will want to become a master of delegation.
Here are the top 5 reasons why you need to delegate more.
1. It Helps with the Growth and Development of Your Team
Training is great, but it’s through practice that we get to really hone our skills and master them. When you delegate, you give people an opportunity to try new tasks, take on a little bit more ownership and responsibility and this is what helps them grow and develop not only in their current role, but also for that next role.
2. It Increases Your Impact and Influence
It doesn’t matter how great you are at something you only have two hands and 24 hours a in day, and if you insist on being directly involved in everything then there is an absolute limit on what you can achieve. Whereas when you delegate to five people, even if they only do a job to 80 percent of the impact that you could do it, that still gives you 400 percent impact. By delegating you significantly increase the amount of output that you can achieve, and once you really master it, the level of impact becomes almost unlimited.
3. It Makes You an Attractive Leader to Work For
According to Gallup Research, the best employees leave companies in search of opportunities to develop and grow. Boring repetitive work that doesn’t challenge your best employees is one of the key causes of employee disengagement. Whereas, if you provide opportunities to grow to your teams, not only does it help increase your retention rates, it will also make you an attractive leader that people will seek out and who want to work for.
4. It Boosts Your Reputation as a Leader
When you make a bigger impact, when you have increased influence and good employees as wanting to work for you that is a great reputation to have as a leader. Not only does it say you will probably get the job done, but that your results are sustainable because your teams are happy to keep working with you. Given that great leaders are in short supply with this type of reputation not only will people want to work with you, but companies will want you to work for them.
5. It Frees You Up to Work on Bigger Things
I have lost count of the number of leaders that I have worked with, who thought it was important to be indispensable. They thought that if only they knew how to do the job or could do the job then this gave them great job security. Now whilst there might be some truth to that, if you are needed in your current role, how are you going to position yourself for promotion into a bigger role, or free yourself up for new opportunities. The answer is you can’t, you have made yourself a prisoner of your current role.
Learning to delegate is a win-win-win situation. Your employees win because they get chances to grow and develop, your company wins because they get more output, increased retention and better engaged employees. And lastly you win, because it improves your reputation, and it will put you in a position where not only are you in demand for bigger opportunities, but you are free to take them.