Many leaders, particularly those who started their own businesses and went through phases of needing to handle everything themselves, develop the habit of not delegating work to their managers or employees—even ones they hired to handle some of these responsibilities.
Even at lower levels of management, this can be a problem; a study of over 300 companies revealed that while half were concerned about management delegation skills, only 28 percent offered training on the subject.
But lack of knowledge isn’t the only reason leaders don’t learn to delegate—they may not have the time, the knowledge of their teams’ skills and capacity, or the confidence to jeopardize their own reputation for getting things done.
Whatever the cause, a refusal to delegate eats up valuable time, stretches leaders too thin, and can give staff the impression they aren’t trusted enough to handle tasks or projects.
Wendy McManus, owner and lead consultant for the firm Connect2Potential, conducts just this kind of leadership training. When it comes to delegation, she explains, leaders should empower their teams to do the daily work that must be done so management can handle high-level challenges.
“Taking the time to train others and building the trust that’s required to allow others to do the in-the-trenches work is a critically important step towards successful leadership,” she says, and this applies whether leaders are new and have only recently acquired a new title or responsibilities or seasoned pros.
This is an excerpt from a feature in the September/October 2021 issue of Produce Blueprints Magazine. Click here to read the whole issue.