The Weekend Leader - How to delegate work as a leader to employees, subordinates and get the work done

‘Don’t take it all on yourself, lest you burnout’

Dr. Roopleen


Vol 11 | Issue 4

Most of us have our plates full when it comes to the tasks we need to do on a daily basis. And each day, the gap between the work needed to be done and the time available for it seems to be widening.

Trying to do everything yourself and stretching yourself to the breakpoint is a surefire way of experiencing heightened level of stress and heading for a burnout.

To delegate work and get them done is an important aspect of good leadership (Photo for representation purpose only)

With only a limited amount of time on your hand, and a myriad responsibilities to juggle, it only makes sense to do the most important things yourself and assign the rest to another person or a team of people who can do it better or at least as well as you. As Jessica Jackley once famously said, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

But it’s easier said than done. Delegation of work poses two practical problems: One, the perfectionist in you wants to do everything yourself - after all, we all grew up listening to the advice that if you want to get something done well, do it yourself - and two, it’s challenging to find a suitable person for the job—one who is trustworthy, responsible, qualified and competent.

Having said that, successful delegation when done right can streamline your work, boost your productivity and get more done in less time. It can make your life way easier and you can have all the time to do other meaningful things like, spending quality time with family and friends, and doing things you love doing.

Most successful people the world over vouch for having good delegation skills for being successful. But there’s more to delegation than just assigning someone work. It has to be done the right way to get the desired outcome. Here are some of the ways you can effectively entrust the responsibility to someone else and make delegation work for you:

Hire smart and competent people

First things first. An important rule of success is to form your dream team where the members are self-driven, motivated, and above all, have the appropriate skills, capabilities and are proficient in their work. This is one of the core strengths of any organisation and it’s easier to assign work to people you know can handle it well.

Segregate work

Prioritize and segregate your work. Make a note of the crucial tasks and responsibilities that only you can do or ought to carry out. The rest of the routine work can be assigned to a reliable person or to your team. If you have trust issues, do give them clear directions and proper inputs to avoid ambiguity, keep a close watch and monitor their work. Continue this till your team proves themselves to you, win your trust and you begin to rely on them.

Provide support

Your team may need help from you in the form of resources and guidance. Always be willing to support them and keep the communication channels open. Allow the team members to consult you; encourage them to ask questions, clear doubts and seek clarifications. When you help people sort out issues and fix problems—as and when they arise—you ensure that they execute the task in the best way possible.

Specify the outcome

In order to avoid any miscommunication or having surprises, take time to explain your team members what exactly you have in mind and what you want them to do. Provide them with all the information and instructions and let them know of your expectations regarding the outcome of the task or project. Emphasise on the quality and precision of the outcome and construct a reasonable timeline.

Avoid micro managing

When you entrust someone with a job, the worst thing you can do is to be intrusive. Undue interference tends to de-motivate people and lowers their morale. Let go of the control—for some time, at least. Give your team a free hand to decide the manner in which they want to carry out the work. You can always ask for updates on the progress made though. There are many paths that lead to the destination and be okay with the method of working as long as you get the desired results.

In today’s age and time, life is really busy for everyone —most people play multiple roles and wear various hats. To add to it, you can neither change the time available to you each day nor reduce the load of your duties and responsibilities. The limited amount of energy, stamina and enthusiasm that you have—and the deadline constraints—warrant that work be shared and distributed to others, whenever possible and as much as possible. At some point, you have to take the help of others to unburden yourself. After all, at the end of the day, what matters is that your work gets done and you accomplish the goals you set out to.

Working effectively and learning to delegate is a great way of taking some things off your plate. It’s the smart choice you must make if you want to excel and also desire to live a stress-free life. Delegation is a huge step in this regard that will not only enable you to have a better control over your life but also help maintain the elusive work-life balance.

If you want to do a few things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.

-John C. Maxwell

About the Author

Dr. Roopleen is a motivational writer, life coach, blogger, super-specialist eye surgeon and author of six books.
Website: | Email: [email protected]

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