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Productivity

Why Is Delegation Important in Leadership?

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Are you a manager with a to-do list that seems to stretch for miles? You finalize a client proposal, answer a barrage of emails, troubleshoot a team conflict, and try to make headway on a strategic plan for the next quarter. Your calendar is a jigsaw puzzle that’s getting more complex by the hour….

In this whirlwind, managers often hesitate to delegate. They worry that their team won’t complete tasks to their standard, or they fear that letting go of control might reflect poorly on their abilities. Some think that teaching someone else will take more time than just doing the task themselves.

Does this situation ring a bell?

It’s time to change that perspective. Imagine turning that endless to-do list into a shared action plan, where your skilled team members take ownership of various pieces, freeing you to focus on the strategic, big-picture items that truly require your attention.

That’s the power of delegation. It’s not relinquishing control; it’s about enhancing productivity and performance, across the board.

In this article, we’re going to delve deep into the benefits of delegation. You will learn how delegation can bring a positive impact on you and your team.

Why Is Delegation Important?

Delegation can provide numerous benefits, including reduced workload and stress for the leader or manager, improved team morale and engagement, and increased productivity and efficiency.

“Delegating, when done well, not only reduces your own workload, it develops your employees, gives you and your team a bigger range of skills and impact, provides emergency back-up (since you’re not the only one who knows how to do something), creates inclusive opportunities, empowers people, and retains talent.” – Management expert Deborah Grayson Riegel[1]

Let’s go over each benefit of delegation one by one.

Leverage of Time

Delegation is the ultimate lever for time. As Simon Sinek put it sharply:

“Delegation is not about getting someone else to do what you do. It is about getting people who are better than you to do what you can’t.” – Simon Sinek

When a leader hands off tasks to team members, it’s not about dumping work on someone else. It’s smart time leverage. It’s putting tasks into the hands of people whose skills are built for those tasks. What happens next? A few things:

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Speed and Precision: Give a task to the right person, and it gets done faster, and it gets done right. No endless revisions, no headaches. Just results.

Expertise in Action: Think of a marketing manager passing a social media campaign to a team member who lives and breathes hashtags and engagement. That’s not offloading work—that’s strategically placing work where it can shine brightest.

Delegation, then, is less about letting go, and more about wisely using the hands you have on deck. It’s playing chess with time, positioning your pieces—your team—where they can make the most powerful moves.

Clearing Your Deck For What Matters

Delegating isn’t about handing off work you don’t want to do. It’s about clearing space on your plate for the big stuff—the work that only you can do.

Freeing Your Time: Send the routine tasks down the line. That’s not where your genius lies. You’re here to plot the course, to make the calls that set the tone for everything else.

Stepping Back for a Better View: Delegation lets you rise above the day-to-day grind. It’s your ticket out of the weeds, freeing you to think big, to spot opportunities and challenges from miles away, and to shape the grand strategies that steer the ship.

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In short, delegating the small stuff lets you zero in on the work that’s worthy of your expertise. It’s not about dodging tasks; it’s about embracing your role as the strategist, the visionary.

Allowing Others to Learn and Develop New Skills

When you delegate, you’re handing over more than a to-do list—you’re passing on a chance to grow.

Think about it. Handing a team member a new task is like giving them a new puzzle. It’s fresh, it’s intriguing, and it stretches their brain in ways that routine work just can’t. That’s how skills are built, and that’s how careers are shaped.

Besides, when people own a piece of the work, they own a piece of the outcome. They care more, try harder, and aim higher. It’s not just a task—it’s their task. And that’s a game-changer for engagement and commitment.

So, delegating is more than lightening your load. It’s lighting a fire under your team, fueling their growth with every task you pass their way.

Enhancing Team Trust and Communication

Delegation can encourage team members to collaborate and work together on tasks. This can help to break down organizational silos and foster a culture of collaboration.

When team members collaborate on a task, they may need to communicate with one another to share information, provide feedback, and coordinate their efforts. This can help to build trust and improve communication within the team.

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Besides, delegating tasks can improve team transparency. There is less room for confusion or misunderstandings when team members are clear about the tasks they are responsible for and the results they are expected to deliver.

Increasing Team Flexibility and Productivity

When team members are given the opportunity to take on new tasks and responsibilities, they may need to learn new skills or expand their knowledge in different areas. This can encourage cross-training and skill sharing, and make them more flexible and adaptable.

Moreover, because delegating tasks to other team members helps to distribute workload more evenly, it reduces bottlenecks within the team where one person is responsible for all tasks in a specific area.

Overall, delegation can help to make the best use of everyone’s time and resources by freeing up time, increasing productivity, and encouraging accountability and ownership. This can lead to increased performance, better results, and overall success for the organization.

Final Thoughts

By delegating, you are effectively taking back control of your clock. Instead of drowning in a sea of endless to-dos, you’re navigating, choosing where your attention and skills will have the greatest impact. It frees you to lead from where you are most valuable, steering the course rather than rowing alone.

View delegation not as relinquishing tasks, but as reclaiming your time. It’s your opportunity to steer the hours of your day towards strategic thinking, high-level decision-making, and nurturing the growth of your team and organization.

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Reference

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