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The Leadership Quest Blog

Why Are You Doing All the Work?

April 27, 2017


Have you ever found yourself asking, “Why do I always seem to be doing all the work?”

The ability to delegate effectively – to assign new products and responsibilities to individuals or a team and providing the authority, resources, direction, and support needed to achieve the expected results – is an essential leadership skill. It’s one of the key ways that leaders find time for people verses things.

Effective delegation is the mark of a good leader who has developed his or her team members, direct reports, and even supervisors to readily accept and excel at many challenges.  Research from many different sources identifies significant benefits that emerge from effective delegation such as:

  • Freeing the leader’s time for greater creativity and innovation.
  • Creating trust within the work team.
  • Enabling direct reports to develop as leaders.

So, why don’t you delegate?  I hear the same reason all the time – “I don’t have time.”  Most of the time that is true- I can’t even debate that.

To start delegation the first week might be a five times investment of doing it yourself. The second week might be a three times investment. The third week may be a two times investment. At the end of it, it may take you 10 times longer to delegate and it might take you four to five weeks, but you gain the rest of the year when that task is not on your plate anymore.

Effective delegation can result in better decisions when competent individuals or teams are closer than the leader to a problem and have more timely information about it. To achieve the potential benefits of delegation, leaders need to be more competent at finding a good balance between autonomy and control.

Here is a 5-step process to help you delegate more effectively:

  1. Do it. Have your people sit there and do the task with you.
  2. Tell. Tell your people what to do right alongside of them, but tell them and direct them with very clear language on what to do.
  3. Teach it. Teach your people what it is you want them to do.
  4. Ask questions. Ask your people if they understand the “why” behind the “what”. Do they understand the process?
  5. Support your people – be there for them, let them know that they can come to you if they get stuck at any point.

Those are the simple steps for executing proper delegation.

Do you have questions? Email me:



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