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Andrew Reid Consultancy's blog: The Growth Blog

The Growth Blog focuses on lessons in leadership that inspire growth in all forms.

Refuse to Delegate

Refuse to Delegate...

Is terrible advice because delegating effectively within your team creates a culture of success and empowerment.  When we hoard the power and opportunities we are not leading. At best, we are dictating. 

"Giving up power seems to go against everything in our nature."

Delegating work can be very difficult for a number of reasons. In some cases you may be working with a new team and the lack of knowledge you have about everyone's strengths makes it hard for you to assign roles. In other cases you may have had a bad experience with some or all of your fellow team members and that makes you hesitant to place trust in them now. Maybe this is your first big assignment and you see it as your big break, you don't want to let someone else spoil your big moment. 

While I could write lists for days thinking of every possible situation, I think it all boils down to the same root issue. Delegating work is voluntarily giving up power and being vulnerable with your team. Both of those things can be terrifying to do. 

Giving up power seems to go against everything in our nature. For so long we fight for power, and once we have it we tend to want to hold onto it. I firmly believe that it is the person who sees how relinquishing power to others can empower them to grow and advance that understands what a good leader does. While you could maintain or increase your power, isn't it better to share it with others? It may not always be the most common choice for those in power to make but often times it is the right choice. 

Being vulnerable is one of the hardest thing we can do. This applies to all facets of our lives. Whether it's in a relationship with a significant other, a mentor, our supervisors or our peers it can be a terrifying experience.   The good part? It can be the most freeing and uplifting experience as well. In order to build authentic trust and loyalty, vulnerability must exist. In order for vulnerability to exist one person must step up to the plate and become vulnerable. Again, this may seem unintuitive for the person in power to do, but it speaks volumes for their leadership abilities. 

When we delegate work to others effectively it tells them that we:

  • trust in them as a team member

  • believe in their ability to complete the task at hand

  • acknowledge their skills and talents

  • are comfortable being vulnerable with them

  • want them to grow and succeed

Refusing to delegate isn't the sign of an incredible leader, it's quite the opposite. 

So, you understand delegation is a key factor in being a successful leader. Check. But what about all the other things you should or shouldn't do? We thought of the top 10 things you can do to be the most hated and least effective leader possible. It's our "anti how-to guide". Interested to learn more?