Defeating Delegation Dealbreakers

Defeating Delegation Dealbreakers
Thomas Thompson
April 12, 2022
min read

Great leaders get great at delegation.  

They learn to hand off what they COULD do, but SHOULD NOT do, to others.

This is because they’ve learned what YOU already know: Delegation is critical for your leadership.

  1. Delegation develops the next level of your leaders.
  2. Delegation refocuses your priorities on what you can and should do.
  3. Delegation expands your influence, as you now have a team tackling projects with your values and priorities.

And yet, some leaders still struggle to hand off responsibilities well.  

Sometimes this is a tactical issues–they just need a model to follow.  Check out this one: Avoid Fumbling the Delegation Handoff

But sometimes the obstacles to delegation are found INSIDE the leader.  There are some internal attitudes, beliefs, or habits that prevent great delegation.  These dealbreakers must be addressed by the leader, or they will fail to lead well.

Seven Delegation Dealbreakers Leaders Must Overcome:

  1. “I don’t have time.”

Of course you don’t.  Delegation takes time.  Explaining requires effort.  And it is often easier to just do it yourself than to delegate to someone else.  

But you don’t have time–you create time. 

Delegation is a time creation tool, allowing you to make space to focus on what the organization needs you to focus on.  So to ghet the ball rolling, you will have carve out time to delegate.  Initially, this may mean you have to add to your plate before you can subtract from it.

  1. “I hate to give up control.”

Of course you do.   You are handing over the success of the project to someone else.  You know what you can do, what you can produce.  And when you delegate, you discover people don’t always carry it out the way you would.

We are all control freaks.  

Craig Groeschel is right on when he says, “You can have control. You can have growth.  But, you can't have both.”   Consider what failing to give up control is costing you and your organization?

  1. “I’m afraid of losing credit.”

Of course you wouldn’t say this…out loud.  But many of us (me too) think some form of this.  Handing off work to others makes stars of your subordinates.  Heroes of your whole team.  

And some leaders can’t handle that.  

But the reality is, when you delgete well, and the team succeeds, EVERYONE KNOWS WHO.  Everyone knows who was behind it.  People will begin to see the common denominator behind your team’s success–a leader great at equipping and trusting her team.  I love the football coach who once said, “Take ½ the credit and all of the blame.”  He was right.  Give away the credit and it will always come back, because everyone knows who.

  1. “I like doing that job.”

Of course you do.  Maybe that’s the reason why you started working here in the first place.  You liked the thing–selling, calling, building, drawing, planning, creating, writing.

But that is no longer your job.

You leveled up.  You now lead people to do what you once did.  You have to Shift.  If you want to do keep doing those things, then give up your role, step down a rung, and enjoy working at that level.   If you are a new leader, check out One Shift You Must Make If You Are Ever Going To Lead Others 

  1. “I can do it better.”

Of course you can.  You have done it longer.  You have the training, gifts, talents to do the job better than the person you are handing off to.

But so what?  

See #4 above.  As the leader, you are not getting paid to do the thing, but to lead others to do the thing.  Sure they will not do it as well as you at first.  So you have to have an acceptable level of quality drop.  I like saying that if someone can do my job 80% as well as me, they should.  Pick your percentage, but remember 100% as good as you is NOT acceptable for delegation.  Oh, and be ready to be surprised that the person you delegate to may soon exceed your best expectations (and standards).

  1. “I will work myself out of a job.”

Of course you will. You keep handing parts of your job away and what will you have left?

Your REAL job.

Working yourself out of a job is the goal and constant pursuit of every good leader.  It means you are developing leaders around you, and you are finally getting to laser focus your time and energy on what the organization REALLY needs.  The reward for working yourself out of a job is that you finally focus on those dreams and goals that only you CAN and SHOULD focus on.

  1. “I’m not confident this person can handle what I hand them.”

Of course you aren’t  You are delegating something that matters…or it wouldn;t have been on your plate in the first place.  You would like some guarantee they won’t waste what you handed them

But you won’t get the guarantee.  

Your lack of confidence in them is either unfounded or founded.  If it is unfounded, figure out if you are really wrestling with one of the above reasons. “It’s not you, it’s me.”  If it is founded, you may have people in the wrong seats.  Either way, you will not get the guarantee, but you can stack the odds in your favor by getting great at delegating.  

Your team needs you to overcome the dealbreakers to delegation.  

What is your next step today?

Thomas helps leaders navigate what’s next in their lives, leadership, and teams.  If he can serve you in this, reach out to him HERE.

Photo by Jael Rodriguez on Unsplash

I founded Thompson Leadership to come alongside leaders like you. Together, we will unpack your unique leadership, unearth your biggest challenge, and create an action plan to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Connect with Thomas
© 2022-2023 Thompson Leadership. All right reserved.
Privacy Policy