Quality #2: Ability to Delegate

    Quote from Forbes Article:

    Finessing your brand vision is essential to creating an organized and efficient business, but if you don’t learn to trust your team with that vision, you might never progress to the next stage. Its important to remember that trusting your team with your idea is a sign of strength, not weakness. Delegating tasks to the appropriate departments is one of the most important skills you can develop as your business grows. The emails and tasks will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce.

    The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Find out what each team member enjoys doing most. Chances are if they find that task more enjoyable, they will likely put more thought and effort behind it. This will not only prove to your team that you trust and believe in them, but will also free up your time to focus on the higher level tasks, that should not be delegated. It’s a fine balance, but one that will have a huge impact on the productivity of your business.

    I think this is an ultimately essential quality of a leader. We all know leaders who are corrupt, and that is almost precisely the moment they stop being our heroes. They become almost worse than villains, because they are the ones who pretend to be good, but are really bad guys.

    To me, the key phrase in this is the following statement: The key to delegation is identifying the strengths of your team, and capitalizing on them. Too often I see people delegate simply to not have to do the task that they are passing on. Whether it’s because it’s a menial job, or busywork, or they want to give the neophyte a “trial by fire”, the delegation is often doomed to failure before it even begins because the person doing the delegating simply has not considered the individual who will be doing the task. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? Do they have the skills to do the job you are delegating? Will they enjoy the job they are asked to do? Often, people do a better job at stuff they like to do as opposed to stuff they don’t.

    I love that this statement forces you to actually think about the person you are giving a task to. It forces you to actually consider that person as a person, and not just as a means to an end.

    My father is a reasonably good leader. He is a master of words, and can inspire people to do almost anything. But the one thing I always notice is his weakness is delegation. He tends to ask people to do things for him that he can easily do himself. I remember once he called me to ask a favor. He wanted to send some of his staff to come pick up some rental equipment for a party they were having. No problem, I said. But then he asked me to call his staff up and coordinate it with them. Now, I get that there is some level of logic that says that it may be more efficient for me to coordinate times with his people, but on most levels, it’s one extra thing that I have to do that he’s just passing the buck on to save himself some time. And while I obviously will do anything I can for my father, it totally annoys me to no end that I have to waste my time doing something that not only he is supposed to do, but also something that he could easily do himself.

    And this is exactly what your staff will think of you, if you try to delegate stupid tasks to them. Therefore, I strongly agree with the statement, that you must consider what it is you are delegating, and to whom you are giving that task.