I’ve never met a leader who didn’t desire to delegate responsibilities to someone else on their team, but if you’re not careful delegating looks more like dumping.
So how can you empower and effectively delegate?
Many great resources have been written to help leaders delegate, but my favorite is a simple five step process we use with our team...
1. I do, you watch
This is the first step. You are modeling the tasks that needs to be completed.
Your protégé isn’t really helping at all; they are just shadowing you.
Be sure to communicate the “why” during this step. By communicating “why” you are not just handing off tasks but you are training them to think as you think, and that’s the key.
Those who serve under you may never do things exactly as you do, but if they do something for the same reasons you would, you’re beginning the process of reproducing yourself.
2. I do, you help
This is the part of the process where someone else is working alongside you.
I realize it’s hard. You could move much faster by yourself and probably be more effective, but that would defeat the purpose— they wouldn’t know how to do the job when you step away.
Don’t solve problems in your head, solve them out loud. If you let them witness how you solve problems, they will solve future problems without running to you.
3. You do, I help
Give up control.
Empower them to make decisions.
Let them know they are in charge of the task.
Depending on their confidence level it may be hard for them to lead you, but force them to do it.
The best way to learn something is to teach it. So have them tell/teach you to do it as if you are brand new.
Remember, anything you accomplish while they are unaware they won’t know to do themselves or teach someone to do later. So, ask a lot of leading “why” questions.Things like:
Why do you do this first?
Why is it important to do this here?
They will be able to articulate things they need to know and explain later.
4. You do, I watch
In this stage, you are only the fire extinguisher. It’s their job to do and your job to let them do.
This is the hardest step for most leaders because they are going to go slow and they are going to make mistakes. Let them.
If you can endure this stage, you are more successful than 95% of leaders. The pay off in the next stage is directly proportional to how effectively you can take your hands off in this stage.
5. You've got it, I'm out!
Congratulations, you have officially developed a new leader to complete tasks and lead on your behalf. You’ve taken one more step out of doing and into leading.
You are now free from the task that you used to do. Stay out of completing the task but stay close enough to offer regular affirmation and encouragement.
Now that you have successfully handed something off, what’s the next thing you can train someone else to take off your plate?
Whether it was teaching, healing, rebuking or pointing people to the Father, it’s interesting how similar the accounts of the disciples’ ministry are to those of Christ in previous years. Evidently, they were always close enough to take good notes.
This happens in every great organization...
So, here’s the challenge for you:
Who’s watching as you do?
Who’s helping you do?
Who are you helping do?
Who are you watching to ensure they can be trusted?
Answer those questions, and you’ll be well on your way to developing leaders around you.
Written by Jeremy Isaacs, one of our coaches.
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