Leadership Skill: Delegation

As a leader you will find yourself in seasons where the load is too great for you alone to handle. Sometimes it's because of the blessing of ministry growth. Perhaps it's the result of an unforeseeable event or crisis. Or, it might be due to personal issues. These times call for the assigning of some of your normal responsibilities to other people -- delegation, a skill you need to master.
If you don't delegate, you will tend to focus on the higher priority or immediate needs. Lower priority or routine work will tend to get pushed to the side or be accomplished with minimal quality. If left undone, those tasks usually build up and become overwhelming and more stressful when you finally do get to them. If done poorly, you might find yourself later needing to redo them, taking up more of your time.

How You Delegate Matters

Leaders must be careful that the way they delegate doesn't counteract the good in delegating.

Two pitfalls to avoid:
  • maintaining too much control
  • not providing enough accountability
How to avoid the pitfalls:
  1. First analyze your situation.
    What tasks can be delegated and what type of gifting or skill level should be in the person to do them?
  2. Choose people wisely.
    Who is the best person for the job?
  3. Sufficiently train or orient the person.
    What does the person need to succeed at the task?
  4. Adequately communicate parameters in advance.
    What level of authority does the person have to make decisions about the task?
  5. Build predetermined evaluation and feedback into the process.
    When and how are they to report on the progress they are making or receive help they might need?
  6. Express appreciation and affirm the person.
    How can you support the person throughout the process?
When you do all of the above, you shouldn't need to micro-manage. People will know your expectations and desires for them to succeed and have the tools to complete their responsibilities, minimizing frustration and misunderstanding for both the leader and person to whom the task was delegated.
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