A recent survey of leaders that I am working with revealed two important facts. 1. They are time poor. 2. They have trouble letting go. Trying to do everything, in turn, leaves them with less time and they end up feeling even more frustrated and inadequate as leaders.
Effective delegation is, almost universally in my experience, a key to helping leaders to become more effective. Here are the most common reasons why people don’t delegate. How many are you guilty of?
- By the time I show them how to do it, I could have done it myself. This is short term thinking. Showing someone how to do something, then supporting them while they master it may indeed take time, but in the long term there will be significant return on that investment of time.
- They won’t do it as well as me. Perfection is the enemy of production. Often a job doesn’t need to be perfect, but we labour over it and waste time.
- They won’t do it the same as me. This borders on arrogance! Who cares as long as it gets done?
Effective delegation can be achieved by using the following method – CREST.
CONTEXT: Here’s why this task is important (some background).
RESULT: Here is the specific outcome required.
ENQUIRY: Here’s all the information you need in order for the task to be completed.
SUPPORT: Here’s how I’ll help and support you to do the task.
TIMEFRAME: Here is when the task needs to be completed by.
BONUS TIP: Make a list of everything that you, as the leader, currently do. Now, put a tick next to the tasks that only you (no one else in the organisation) can do. Put a cross next to your current tasks that someone else could do. Start to delegate these tasks.