Why Delegation Driven Leadership Is Important To Your Leadership Success

If you are reading this article, there is a good chance you are either in a position of power at work over others or would like to be. So, if you are already in a leadership position or wish to be, do you ever consider how you perform (or would perform) in the role? Are you the right person? Can you inspire others, motivate them to perform, create and share a vision, and attract followers who believe and trust in you?

Being a leader requires an extensive skill set and an understanding of your teams, the individuals within teams, and how to enable them to be self-motivated; high performers are at the top of the list.

To many, the perception of a leader is someone who can “walk the walk and talk the talk.”  They appear to be knowledgeable, in control, and confident in every aspect of their role. However, the truth can be different. Many leaders are not as they appear and can be racked with insecurities about their abilities, confidence, decisions, and level of control.

Consequently, these leaders make mistakes, often without realizing they are doing so. To my mind, the biggest one of all is a lack of trust.

Trust

For a business to be successful, progressive, and sustainable, trust is a crucial element. Ask yourself this simple question: Do I trust my team? It may not be a question you really would ask out loud, but you will probably have a good idea of the answer if you consider the question. If the answer is yes, then you can stop reading this article. However, if it is a no, keep going because you need to understand why there is a lack of trust and the impact it causes.

Now ask yourself another question: Do my team trust me? Try and answer with yes or no, rather than sometimes, or it depends. The answer needs to be a resounding yes! If the answer is no, consider why. Could it be that they do not give trust because they do not receive trust?

Responsibility

A lack of trust results in employees not accepting responsibility for their actions, their attitudes, and their performance at work. Make no mistake; this is expensive. The result of a lack of responsibility is lower performance levels, less creativity, little initiative, time-wasting, poor morale, and ultimately a high staff turnover. Wow, all of that because you do not trust your team. You now have a failing team and a failing business, and you are probably totally unaware of the actual situation.

What else will go wrong? A lack of interest, unhappy teams, little enthusiasm (unless you are actually in the room), a blame culture in which risks are never taken due to fear of getting it wrong, moaning, complaints, excuses, and absenteeism. Do you want me to continue?

Action

If teams and individuals do not want to take responsibility at work, you need to take action and face some uncomfortable truths:

Why do you not trust them?

How well do you know them?

Do you dislike them?

How do you communicate with them?

Do you shout? Are you angry? What would they say if you asked them about this?

Is your door open or closed?

Do they come to you to talk, or do they avoid/exclude you?

Is there someone you do trust who could help you answer these questions and find the truth?

Encourage

This issue will not solve itself. For the success of the business, you will need to establish a culture of trust and responsibility. When we employ people, we put faith in them doing their job; otherwise, why do we pay them? If we do not have confidence in them, the tendency is to micro-manage them and not release any power or control. Instead, this type of leader will try to oversee all aspects of the business rather than empower employees to take responsibility for their jobs.

When I have been a manager, I wanted to manage the entire business rather than control people doing their jobs. There are not enough hours in the day for that.

The ability to let go of some control comes from confidence in our capabilities and position. Trust in yourself and give it a try.

Talk

This is always an excellent way to start. The aim is to create an environment where people are encouraged to take responsibility for their decisions, actions, and even mistakes. Start with individuals who can influence the situation, such as line managers or supervisors. Explain what you wish to change and point out the many benefits of a different approach. You will need to be consistent and sincere in your message and demonstrate a high level of integrity in keeping promises. This will be the beginning of establishing a culture of trust and responsibility.

Roles

Revisit individual roles, job descriptions, and daily routines and look for opportunities for employees to accept more responsibility. If you offer it, you may be surprised at how many would welcome it. If they feel their role is growing, levels of self-motivation will grow, interest will grow, commitment will grow, engagement will grow, creativity, initiative, and levels of performance will also increase.

Belonging

With a sense of growth comes a sense of ownership and belonging to something that matters. Personal growth is an essential aspect of work. Increased responsibility can provide it. Work then becomes a matter of personal pride, and individual accountability for the quality work is apparent. People will be re-engaged because they care about their role. The bonus here is that people feel they have more control over their lives and that what they do will make a difference.

Tell Them

Tell them that they are appreciated, they are valued, they are essential, and that what they do matters. If they take responsibility for something, make a point of noticing it and discuss it. Provide unbiased feedback and be prepared to offer coaching on a one-to-one level if possible, as this will strengthen the sense of trust that enables responsibility to happen. Your success as a leader depends on it.