Tips for Knowing When to Delegate and When to Take Personal Responsibility

Tips are valuable resources – ideas and reminders – that encourage you to perform a specific leadership behavior or action in a more effective manner. Post a copy of the tips in your work area to refer to as needed.

  • Accept the fact that others can handle some tasks as capably as you can – maybe even better.
  • Become comfortable delegating routine tasks and decisions.
  • Share responsibility and accountability for delegated work.
  • Examine your own workload and determine tasks to delegate to others.
  • Delegate important tasks you do not have time to do thoroughly.
  • Remember, each time you perform a task someone else can, you keep yourself from doing a task that only you can do.
  • Delegate to the lowest possible level.
  • Communicate the importance of an assignment at the time of delegation.
  • Anticipate success, but do not be afraid to fail. Consider the result of not taking action.
  • Prepare your direct reports for delegation. Be sure your direct reports know that it is an expectation of their job to accept and commit to delegated tasks.
  • View crisis in the work unit as a team. Everyone should have a stake in the crisis. Do not attempt to shield your direct reports – rather give them the opportunity to contribute to the solution.
  • Train others to delegate.
  • Failing to delegate communicates your lack of confidence in your direct reports’ abilities.
  • A leader’s ability to advance in the organization is proportional to his/her ability to delegate. When you delegate, you are expanding your capability to get things done. Leaders who fail to delegate may be putting a lid on promotions.

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