Are You Delegating Or Dumping?

girl with head on desk piled with papers from poor delegating


Delegating properly is one of the most important leadership skills. Delegation is typically not a natural skill that we learn growing up; however, it is critical to company growth and it’s a game-changer on many levels.

When delegation is done poorly, it is better known as dumping, and it’s not ultimately beneficial to the giver or receiver.  When done well, delegation allows individuals and teams to focus on more important priorities that will impact top and bottom lines, as well as everything in between.

Some tips for delegating effectively...

Delegation does require time up front to execute properly.  However, it saves time in the long run so that leaders can consistently focus on company vision and priorities.

A CEO recently told me that when he’s really busy, he delegates things he’s too busy to do; when he has extra time, he does those same things himself. I couldn’t help myself and I said “That’s dumping, not delegating.”

We had a great conversation about his team and the message they receive when he does that. We also discussed his priorities and how to focused on those rather than taking back work that someone else can do.

Successful delegation requires the following:

  • Pinpoint and be specific – We don’t want people doing the wrong thing right.
  • Provide feedback along the way – Have them check in along the way to be sure everything is on track for desired results.
  • Establish risk tolerance – Create boundaries so they know when to ask for help.
  • Recognize success – People thrive with recognition; give it more often.