The importance of delegation can’t be overstated when it comes to leading well. In fact, it’s part of the first step to becoming a great leader. When you decide that delegation is important you put your trust in the people you are delegating to.
Most leaders are comfortable with delegating certain tasks that they would rather not do. It’s smart to delegate the things that you are not gifted in so that you can more fully focus on the things that are in your wheelhouse. While this is a valuable thing to do, I believe there is a better way to delegate.
A Better Way to Delegate
While most leaders will delegate tasks, I believe a better way to delegate is to delegate responsibility and authority. This goes way beyond the delegation of tasks. If you don’t initially trust someone to complete a task correctly, you can teach them exactly how to do that task. When you delegate responsibility and authority you are showing a deep trust in that person. To teach them how to lead well isn’t as simple as teaching them how to perform a task.
In order to delegate responsibility and authority, you need to get comfortable with not being in control. When you truly delegate responsibility and authority, you must give up your desire to always give unasked-for advice. Instead of always giving your two cents on a given issue, let them ask you for advice. If they don’t, and they fail, help them learn from their failure.
I’m sure you would agree: We learn much more from our failures than we do our accomplishments. A large part of taking this kind of delegation on is being okay with letting people fail. When failure happens, growth happens – as long as you are helping them interpret their failure.
Micro-Management is Not Allowed
Depending on your personality and way of doing things, you may naturally delegate responsibility and authority, but you may not. You may have a tendency to want to micro-manage everything. If this is you, you’ve got to decide that leading well is better than controlling more. You’ve gotta decide that raising up other leaders is more important than the status quo.
An Investment Made
If you know anything about investments, you know that the longer the investment, the greater the growth (obviously we’re avoiding an economic recession in this comparison). When you decide to delegate responsibility and authority, you are making a long term investment in the life of the person you are delegating to. They may not be the greatest leader when they begin, but they’ll grow over time. And before too long, you’ll be wowed at the things they are doing and accomplishing. There will be ups and downs, but if you delegated to the right person, they will grow into the responsibility and authority that you have given them.
Seeing Through a Vital Lense
For you to truly take advantage of this better way to delegate, you need to see through a vital lense. You have to always have your eye out for potential leaders. You have to be able to see what people are good at, what their interests are, what their passions are, and ask yourself, would ______ be a good fit for them? If you blindly start to delegate something as precious as responsibility and authority, you’ll give the wrong person influence and you’ll be stuck with the repercussions. It’s better to take your time in identifying people to delegate to initially than it is to have to go back because you identified the wrong person.
Before You Do This
Before you go and begin to delegate responsibility and authority, take some time and make a list of all of the areas you need and want help with. What these areas look like will depend on your context. Your list could begin with children’s ministry or it could begin with small groups ministry or something else. It all depends on your context. After you’ve made a list, begin to open your eyes and be on the lookout for people who you think would be great fits. Pray over them and make your decision. Then, cast a vision to them and ask them to take over whatever area it is.
Then get out of the way. Seriously.