Delegate? What are you talking about???

Are we looking into our team members, distributing the projects and tasks coherently and having the results that we expect?

Many times, our answer to this question is “no”, but we are not realizing that it is our own fault. It is the leaders’ responsibility to evaluate their teams, leverage each team member strengths, delegate and hold them accountable for results.

Delegate??? That sounds like a foreign word to many of us.

When speaking to several employees (from companies in different industries), one of the most common frustrations that I hear is that they feel micro managed, their boss does not delegate, they do not feel part of the team.

We, as leaders have been failing: we live a tremendous pressure for results and forget that we cannot do all by ourselves, that we are wasting the talents that we hired and that we are micromanaging them.

Under our team members’ perspective we are not acting like leaders, but authoritarian egocentric bosses.

Here are some reasons why we should delegate (and use the talent poll that we have):

1- Employees need to be involved and engaged in order to feel committed to a project, a task, or a role. When you do not involve your employees in your projects, they feel like they “just have to do what they have to do” to get it over with. When you, on the other hand, involve your employees, you develop the “ownership”, the responsibility factor. And believe me, they do want that!

Employees want to feel part or the process, accountable for their performance and  feel proud of the results. When they become simple executors, robots, they lose their motivation and “transfer” all the responsibility for the results to you. They do not need to be concerned about the outcome, they do not need to care.

Engaged employees feel part of the team, the project, “the family”. Not only they “own” the process, but they feel excited to aim for the best results possible. They feel entitled to claim the success and will admit their missteps. And yes, you need that in your team.

2- Do not micro manage. Employees are also individuals, and as the word says, have their own thoughts, their own means, their own pace, their own interpretation, and their own methods. But, they are aware of their task, their responsibility, your expectations. They are very aware of the expected results (don’t ever assume though, be very clear about it).

However, many times, they do not necessarily use the same methods and means that you would, their timeline might be different from yours (and yes, they are aware of the deadline). Does it really matter? Why assume that our way is always right, better and faster?

When you do not micro manage, they will willingly update you frequently without feeling that you do not trust them. That’s right: when you micro manage this is the message you are sending to your employees/team members – “I hired you but I do not trust you, so I need to micromanage you”. This can be a huge turn-off to your employees.

3- Value and share the success. When you delegate and motivate, you transfer the project ownership to your employee. He/she is now the owner, the brains, the decision-making mind behind it. And they understand what that encompasses. They understand that from this moment on, they cannot blame you for the results: they are the owner of their failure or success.

When you delegate and do not micro manage you transfer the responsibility and the employee will feel trusted and valued. They know they will be held accountable for the results, but they know that it is a great chance for them to show how capable they are, they you made the right decision when you hired or promoted them, that they are worthy. They become also more grateful and loyal.

All that said, as leaders, we must trust our decision to have hired the right people, motivate them by delegating and giving them ownership of the projects, and keep them accountable for the results. And more than everything, value the commitment, determination and results that they got for you and your company.

This is what makes great leaders.

How do you delegate to your employees and yet guarantee good results?

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