We’ve already discussed how the Leverage Cycle is a key tool for developing leaders to use when managing people, leading a business effectively and creating a high performance team.

Now we look into the first – most critical – instrument from this tool box that ensures a team of high performers and that isdelegation.

Delegation is the lifeblood of:Delegation as a leader development tool

•    Productivity
•    Quality
•    Growth
•    Staff retention
•    Staff motivation

To achieve all of these things you need to effectively delegate tasks – to free up yourself, to remove bottlenecks in the organisation, to have a smoothly running operation with the ability to grow and to stretch your people so they are capable, productive and achieving.

Good delegation conversations cover three main areas:

1.    The Right Mindset – leaders need to have the right mindset when considering whether or not to delegate. If one chooses to delegate, they tend to be considering the long term and the development of their people. If they choose not to, they are considering the short term – focussing on tasks and their outcome; the deliverable in terms of quality and timeliness.

The path from doing to managing in leader development means trusting and letting go – that others can and actually want to do the things one used to do well before becoming a leader. Leaders must remember to stretch their people and open up the bottle neck to enable tasks to occur so they can concentrate on managing and leading people.

2.    The Right People at the Right Level – before delegating, leaders must consider who of their team has both the skill and the will to complete the required tasks. Questions to consider include;

– What level of knowledge is required?

– What previous experience can (and should) be brought to the task?

– What is the current skill level of people and what are the skills that are required?

– What stretch targets have you set for people?

– And can you create the time to support your people effectively so they can complete the tasks?

3.    The Right Content – the delegation conversation requires plenty of thought before being entered into. The discussion should cover what your expectations are of both the task being carried out and of the person carrying it out; whether there are any guidelines such as company policy, legislation or anything else that needs to be considered or adhered to in carrying out the task; what resources are available to the team member carrying out the task. Oftentimes you as a support back up is the biggest and best resource you can provide – so consider how much time you can give them and map out check in points to break down the task, provide support and necessitate regular accountability check-ins.

Last but definitely not least the discussion must cover accountability – ensure you outline what you expect and the consequences of not performing. That way you are both clear on outcomes and expectations.

Good delegation conversations set your team up for success in performance, motivation and engagement and need to be thoroughly thought through and carried out. Remember to take the time to consider all of the above points, make sure they are clarified during the conversation for the benefit of you and your team member and watch your team’s performance soar.