Delegation is a process that adds value at all levels – it is all about doing more by doing less!  Don’t wait and abrogate when tasks become super urgent and deadlines critical – it is incredibly counter productive.

In our “Delegate For Success” blog post we considered why we should delegate and looked at some of the excuses for not doing so.

The biggest block to effective delegation is less about the “how to” and more about the belief in the power of delegation.

In order to become an advocate of delegation – to be a skill builder – you must firstly let go of the mindset that:

How do we successfully delegate tasks?  

Here are our seven steps to delegating tasks to achieve success.  These tips can be used not only in your business for more success, but in every aspect of your life to accomplish more.

1. Understand the Task – Make sure you understand the task yourself so that you can clearly communicate the process, the resources, the authority levels and the time frames to the person you are delegating to.  Understand the risk if the task is not completed adequately and manage any risk appropriately.

2. Find the Right Person – Find the person who is motivated to take on the task and to learn new skills.  You cannot give responsibility, someone must take it.

3. Communicate the Task – Take the time to clearly and concisely communicate the task.  This includes the process and the expected outcome.  Make sure they understand how this particular task fits into the overall picture.  Create SMART tasks (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound).

4. Provide Resources to do the Job – Whether it is the time, people, or technology, it is your responsibility to ensure that the resources are available.  Communicate the parameters around time and dollars to be invested.

5. Agree on timelines – Communicate when the job must be finished, at what stage you want to review progress, when reports are due, when you need feedback and then set priorities.  Let them know that you have an open door should they have any questions concerning the task.

6. Confirm Understanding – Make sure that the person understands exactly what is expected. As the question…  “In your own words, talk through your understanding of what is expected”.

7. Encourage, Support, Feedback – Let the person delegated the task know that you have confidence in them to successfully complete the task.  Explain that you’re there to support them.  On completion of the task, perform a review and feedback on the results.  Say thank you!

Delegation, done well, is one of the best forms of on the job training.  We are often super keen to delegate just before we go on annual leave – all of a sudden there are team members who are capable of being delegated to.  Unfortunately, in the mad rush to get away these seven critical steps are not always followed.

Delegation is best done before the job becomes urgent… don’t sit on a task until it is both urgent and important before delegating.  The ultimate responsibility for ineffective delegation is with you.

The art of delegation, or doing more by doing less, can be mastered and adds value to you, your team and your business.

At Opening Gates we examine the art of delegation and so much more in our PRODUCTIVITY by DESIGN and our LEADERSHIP by DESIGN workshops.


Want more success for your team, your business, for you?  Then learn to delegate.  Effectively!

The Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of your activities generate 80% of your results… so it makes sense that you should spend 80% of your time on those particular activities.

How much time are you spending majoring in the minors?  Are you spending too much time on activities that are not within your core genius?

Your core genius is when you are doing tasks:

Consider all of the tasks that you are currently doing which do not meet the core genius criteria.  These are activities which may be better performed by someone else, which could be effectively delegated.  If someone can do a task 80% as effectively as you can – then it is a prime candidate for delegation.

Consider the opportunity cost of doing a task that could be delegated… how could you have better spent that time?

Delegation is one of the keys to better time management and skill building.   We are talking about delegation here, not abrogation.

Here is a great tool that we call The 4 D’s.  Our suggestions is that you keep these four words where you can see them each day, as a reminder – this process needs to become a habit.

Before you commence any task, you should ask yourself in this order…


If you know delegation is an important key for your success, why is it that you don’t delegate more often?  We hear excuses such as…

If you are in a leadership position, part of your job is to take the time and the energy to train others to do more so that you, your team, and your organisation are more successful.

So what are the benefits of quality delegation?

1.  You multiply yourself – The more you delegate, the more you create team members that can accomplish much more in much less time.  You are known as someone who gets things done with self-directed teams.

2.  You create a motivated group – The more you delegate, the more your team members are motivated because they see you as someone who trusts them and their abilities to get things accomplished.  Because your team is motivated, they take more initiative to create solutions, be more creative, and are willing to take on more responsibilities.

3.  You master stress and time management skills – You are forced to prioritize your tasks and realize that there are tasks that you do not need to do, yet would be perfect tasks to develop your team members.  By learning how to prioritize your tasks for delegation, you will be less stressed during the workday and go home at the end of the day satisfied that you accomplished more.

4.  You are known as a person who develops people – The more you delegate, the more you will be known within the organization as a person who develops people.  Team members will want to work for you because they know you have a motivated, creative working environment.

5.  You create opportunities for yourself and others – By delegating tasks to others, you can then take on more advanced tasks that will prepare you for future opportunities when they become available.  Also, as a leader, you never want your team members to be with you in the same position forever.  So, delegating tasks continuously prepares them for opportunities that may come their way.

The danger is that if you do not delegate well you will experience the boomerang effect of upwards delegation.  If you do not delegate at all, you are potentially capping your ability to progress as well as the development of your team.

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