Leaders who are unable or unwilling to delegate meaningful work to others destroy organizational and personal potential.
No leader does this on purpose, but without a clear delegation plan, the results are inevitable.
As an organization grows, so does the complexity and the need for capacity. No leader has enough ability to lead a growing organization alone indefinitely. A lack of delegation leads to unavoidable results:
1. Leadership burnout
Every leader is great at something, but no leader is great at everything. As an organization grows, leaders must move into their unique capability while delegating other responsibilities to those in the organization with different abilities.
2. Organizational stagnation
A leader unable or unwilling to delegate immediately caps the potential growth of the organization. Even the most capable leaders have a capacity lid. No leader can lead perpetual growth outside of strategic delegation.
3. Staff departures
Would you stick around an organization where leadership opportunities aren’t freely provided? I’m guessing not. And neither will your team. Leaders who refuse to delegate push others out of the organization by keeping all the work for themselves. Effective delegation is a leadership development system. Delegation doesn’t just free the organization to grow; it encourages and provides growth opportunities for individual leaders in the organization. Delegation creates leaders and keeps leaders
I assume you don’t want an organization small enough to be managed alone. I doubt you want your best leaders to find other organizations where they can thrive. And I know you don’t want to burn out along the way.
Not to oversimplify these leadership dilemmas, but delegation is a massive part of the answer.
What is delegation? And how do you delegate effectively? We’ll tackle that in the next post.