Delegation is an art but for so many speed and efficiency are lost, opportunities not grasped, as this skill gets blocked. Many conversations with clients have been exploring delegation, typically the dialogues will include my “3-4-3”  concept which shifts the focus of delegatable tasks, but I’ve observed other blockages that are imagined but feel real to the faltering delegator.

It’s obvious, it’s common sense, isn’t it? You’ve likely been on courses throughout your career that discuss delegation and develop your abilities at it and yet, impact and results aren’t grasped.

The Ockham’s Razor Principle would suggest that delegation is simple ‘share essential tasks to the teams’ and, as a result, resources are freed up to allow greater potential to be available.

If you are involved in anything more than mission critical activity or stuff that is the pure essence of you, you are doing not leading. You can only BE a leader, you cannot DO a leader!

I’ve coached close on 1000 senior executives and have noticed the following challenges preventing true delegation taking place:

·        It’s my duty
(Who told you? What hang-ups are you bringing in here? Are you proving something to someone, real or imagined? What happens if you didn’t’?)

·        It’ll take too long to explain
(Too often this is purely a creative-avoidance tactic. Any time invested here will pay you back)

·        They won’t get it right
(If they are your team, what do they need? Better briefing? Other resource options? Improved communications?)

·        What will they think of me?
(Is there a fragile self-image issue here? Get support, step-up)

·        I’ve got time to do it
(Then use it wisely, on your vision, on your wider impact, on communicating this to your teams so they are in a position for you to delegate more to them. Busy being busy looks important but can be a death knell to a leader’s journey)

·        I’m not sure what else to do
(It’s time to explore and expand, invest in a coaching or mentoring dialogue. Absorb, learn. Go spend time elsewhere, raise your game)

And then there’s the post-delegation challenge:

·        I’m still concerned about it
(It may need more thinking, involve more people, be diverse)

·        I’ll change it when it comes back
(Aah! Don’t, get in the mix again and re-brief)

·        It’s not important anymore
(Don’t let that happen again, have you got caught by Urgentia?)

·        It’s still yours - you haven’t actually delegated it!
(Resist micromanaging, delegate and release, train and trust, shift your role)

Take the leader’s leap. Have faith in those you have developed. Do less, involve more. Be explicit. Be great and help others find their greatness. Do what you love and love what you do.

P.S. Look out for my new book “The Impact Book” out now and a few short impact notes I will be sending your way as a taster.

P. P. S. Simon is appearing at Farnborough Business Show on Thursday 26th April, open to the public to attend so please come along if you can – it would be great to say “hi”. Here’s a taster of what to expect.