5 reasons why leaders don’t delegate and its effects on teams
“I’m so stressed! I have so much to finish up by the end of the week and I’ll just have to do it myself because…”
Sound familiar? As a team manager, I get it- you have a lot going on and you have deadlines to meet but here is one thing you absolutely can’t afford to do - NOT delegate! For those of you who hate double negatives I’m just saying that THE ONE thing you absolutely need to do as a team manager is delegate!
Successful leaders delegate effectively. By delegating you can free up your energy and keep your demeanor calm. When you delegate effectively you also increase the energy of your team because it allows them to contribute, learn new skills, and do work that makes a difference all in a positive environment.
Listen to the full story on the podcast or continue reading below.
So why aren’t you delegating? Well it could be one of many reasons, let's take a look at those that we refuse to acknowledge (to be perfectly blunt)
You are a Power Hoarder
Using power as your driver is not necessarily a bad thing but when it’s over calibrated - you may be in the danger zone.
You become all about what you can achieve instead of how you can help the team achieve. If you are afraid that your team will represent you poorly - then you will never trust them with any task/ project. You live being suspicious of the world around you and hence work becomes a matter of survival.
You Have a Static Formula for Success
When you were an individual contributor - you were the top dog! You were the subject matter expert that everyone depended on. You got the highest raises and all the special recognition which landed you your current job of heading a team!
But what got you here won’t get you there as Marshall Goldsmith put it! As an individual contributor it was all about the work you produced - now it’s all about the work your team can produce. It’s time to share your formula for success with your team so they get to grow! It’s time to define the variables in your own formula for success to make it more dynamic!
You assume ( most of the time incorrectly) that your team member isn’t capable for the job just because he/she didn’t complete a prior task you had ‘delegated’.
One thing to understand is that just because something happened in the past - it might not necessarily happen in the future.
People are more complex than financial models. The circumstances today are different from what they were last time. If something didn’t work the last time- it’s important to clearly understand and put your finger on what didn’t work and correct that instead of makinga sweeping assumptions about your team’s capabilities. This only negatively impacts your team’s engagement.
You are Atelophobic
Atelophobia is the fear of not being good enough or imperfection. Haha! Yes there is an actual word for it!
Every time you look at the work one of your team members produced and you think to yourself “ God! I could have done much better than that” and you end up acting on that thinking - you are basically killing innovation or creativity. You are constantly finding fault even when a large part of it is great or you believe you know the “best” way to get anything done are all signs of this fear. When you lead from a place of fear be ready for your team to respond the same way! After all teams catch their leaders emotions. There are always many paths to the same destination so let your team play to their strengths.
There is nothing wring with that! After all every great leader started as a rookie!
You don’t know how to delegate since there was really no use for delegating skills while you were an individual contributor. You might even think that delegating shows incompetence in the task at hand, while the opposite is true.
The more effectively you are able to delegate, be there to answer questions and provide direction, the more you can focus on your own work and taking the team to the next level. Remember you now have a team, a budget and a fixed amount of time to manage - the faster you learn to prioritize and delegate effectively the more successful you will be in your new role.
I will be sharing a quick tool for delegating like a Pro (I call it DeleGATOR ;-)) on my blog on
Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Can’t wait till next Tuesday?
When you don’t delegate for any of the above reasons - this is how your team will feel and here is what the team will do in response.