Linking Human Capital With Strategic Intent

Delegate or Stagnate


Delegate or Stagnate
12 Tips for Effective Delegation

“The secret of success is not in doing your own work but in recognizing the right man to do it.” – Andrew Carnegie

Rick’sTIPS explores the competencies necessary for successful leadership and provides activities to assist with the development and mastery of these skills.


Delegation frees up time, motivates and develops people. Delegation gets more done but be careful not to confuse directing outcomes with delegating.

When it comes to delegation:  We’re our own worst enemy!

The root cause of our problem with delegation lies within our personality. Which it your delegation personality?

  • Dominant/impatient – ”I’ll just do it myself, I can do it quicker and I won’t have to spend time explaining it.”
  • Dot every “I”/Cross Every “T” – ”I’ll just do it myself that way I know it is done correctly and I won’t have to re-do it.”
  • Relationship Centered – ”My staff is already overloaded; I’ll take it home and do it.”
  • Martyr – ”If I do all this work they will appreciate me more and see I can do the work.”

Regardless of your delegation personality and the justification you use for not delegating remember, it is your job to get things done through people.  That’s why you’re the manager!  Here is a suggestion to help you handle this important aspect of management:

“Do not evaluate your job as it is, evaluate it as it should be!”

By learning to delegate more effectively you will gain more time to do what YOU do BEST and develop your staff in the process.

12 Tips for Effective Delegation:

  1. Communicate and get out of the way. Set timeframes and goals. People need to know what it is you expect. What does the outcome look like? When do you need it by? What’s the budget?  What resources do they get? What decisions can they make?
  2. Prepare and follow up. Prior to delegating; make a list including pertinent questions. After assigning the task, review and answer the questions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  3. More what and why, less how. The best delegators are crystal clear on what and when, and more open on how. People are more motivated when they can determine the how for themselves.
  4. Give more leeway. Encourage others to experiment, be creative and to try new ideas. Besides being more motivating, it’s also more developmental for them.
  5. Paint the big picture. People are more motivated when they know where this task fits in the bigger picture. Take three extra minutes and tell them why this task needs to be done.
  6. Delegate as much as possible. Delegate as much as you can along with the authority to do it rather than just pieces or parts. People are more motivated by complete tasks. Delegate those things that others can do and things that you don’t do well.
  7. Who to delegate to. Delegate to those who can do it and those who can almost do it! It is important to avoid the Catch-22.
  8. Work out loud. The role of a coach/teacher is to teach someone how to think and act. Providing solutions is likely to make the person dependent. Instead, ask questions as you go through the task, like: What do you see as important? How do you know?
  9. Allow more time than it would take you. Commonly, manager’s delegate and set time limits based upon their own capabilities and history. Always allow more time in the schedule than it would take you to do it.
  10. Mixing and matching. All of your people have differing skills and capacities. Match the size and complexity of the delegated task with the capacity of each person.
  11. Monitoring delegated tasks. If you must monitor, set time definite checkpoints by the calendar; every Monday, by percentage, after each 10% is complete or by outcome. Let people finish their work.
  12. Compliment efforts and reward Success! Also encourage employees to appraise their own performance and suggest improvements. Mistakes are inevitable, even you do it yourself!


  • Don’t Confuse “PASSING OUT ASSIGNMENTS” With Delegation (This is directing)
  • Don’t “DUMP N’ RUN” Assuming They Will Figure It Out (This causes aggravation)
  • Don’t “ABDICATE RESPONSIBILITY” Assuming They Can Get It Done (This is not “empowering”)

I hope you found this edition of Rick’sTIPS:  Delegate or Stagnate beneficial.

I look forward to providing you with information that makes your life more productive.

Until next time…..


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