Published
February 21, 2024

Why Delegation is the Secret Sauce of Leadership

At Beyond Paralegals we use delegation as a tool to strengthen and invest in our team. In return, we receive a stronger pool of talent to pull from in those inevitable crisis situations when we require —all hands on deck.

Here Are A Few Tips We Use:

LEARN TO LET GO
Being a good leader involves delegating tasks to employees. The problem is most leaders have trouble letting go. Some leaders are so dedicated to their work that they refuse to let other people help, or they fear nobody else has the skills or abilities necessary to execute the work effectively.

Whatever the case may be, your first priority needs to be to learn to let go.

ADOPT THE 70 PERCENT RULE
As part of the letting-go process, we have adopted the 70 percent rule. The 70 percent rule says that if the person you’d like to perform the task can do it at least 70 percent as well as you can, you should delegate it.

Adopting this rule will allow you to free up your time for more productive work. .

TEACH NEW SKILLS
If you have a teammate who lacks the skill-set to execute a task, this does not mean the work cannot be delegated. Most skills can be learned, some more easily than others, so don’t be afraid to teach as a part of the delegation process.

Taking time to teach skills will make it easier to assign similar tasks to that individual in the future, ultimately saving you more time than you spent teaching.

PLAY TO YOUR TEAMS STRENGTHS
Anyone who has played organized sports understands the importance of learning the intricacies of your teammates. You should learn each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, including his or her current, and potential, range of skills. Learning these intricacies ensures you are developing the correct players.

INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS
Many times we see leaders delegate a project without clear instructions —then complain when the project is not completed correctly, or on time.

Even if the task process seems obvious to you, make sure to include instructions with each task you delegate. If you have specific preferences for how the assignment should be carried out, include that information. If you have a strict deadline or milestones you need to hit, be clear about them upfront.

PROVIDE FEEDBACK
Feedback is the most important part of the delegation process, it’s how people learn. If your teammate has done well with a task you assigned, let them know by thanking them and offering genuine praise. Likewise, if they have fallen short, give them some constructive feedback —they will thank you for it and know how to adjust for future projects.

Delegating isn’t always easy, and the process isn’t always clear cut, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll develop the expertise to do it effectively.

Realize that the process will never be perfect, but learn from your experiences and make ongoing adjustments for improvement.