Executive Master of Leadership Blog

5 Easy Ways to Delegate Authority Without Losing Control of your Team

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 20, 2018 7:57:00 AM / by USC Price


Managers continue to report high levels of stress, and it’s clear something needs to change. Delegation is one leadership skill that has the power to take the load off of managers. In fact, it holds numerous benefits, not only for the delegator, but for the delegate and the entire organization as well. Delegation does so by relieving the manager of performing routine tasks and empowering subordinates to take on extra work.

There are four main styles of delegation, among these, the gambler approach yields the best results when delegating tasks to employees with high capability and high motivation.  As the famed leadership guru, Simone Sinek, once said, “Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.”

To begin delegating like a gambler, start using these five methods below:


1. Apply Emotional Intelligence

A successful gambler will intimately know the strengths and weaknesses of each of their team members. As such, they are able to delegate tasks to those who are best fit, with little to no managerial supervision. In doing so, these delegators free up more time, relieve stress, and create opportunities for themselves to focus on larger, more pressing matters.

2. Emphasize Initiative

Task that you delegate should be considered through the lens of the employee's professional leadership development plan. Empower delegates by rewarding them for taking initiative, and always give proper credit when it’s due. By emphasizing initiative and giving credit, you show delegates that they are appreciated and valued for their contribution. This will motivate employees to continue developing their professional skills, and eventually it will help them manage themselves. 

3. Be a Good Listener

Always be attuned to the thoughts and feelings of delegates when they are completing tasks. In understanding their challenges, a manager can actively solve their problems and streamline the workflow. Furthermore, incorporate empathy into your leadership style by sincerely listening to the ideas of delegates can provide new insights into how to innovate and refine company procedures.

4. Delegate Authority Wisely

One problem gambler style delegators face is decentralizing the company by giving too much autonomy to their various delegates. Doing so can let each delegate complete their tasks according to their own vision and style, which can lead to deliverables that don’t cohesively fit together. Throughout a given task, coach your employees to ensure they are working within the same context and their endeavors gel together.

5. Delegate Duties Responsibly

Another drawback of being too hands-on can manifest in a manager running around like a firefighter, solving countless emergencies, and managing crises for your delegates as they work through increasingly complex matters. Because delegates will rely on their manager to clean up their messes, managers can quickly become spread thin, without energy to drive the company toward a centralized goal.


The Role of Effective Delegation

In general, the gambler style of delegation lets a manager act like a consultant as their delegates act independently to do the heavy lifting of leadership. Although this can certainly be a great way for a manager to catch their breath and relieve stress, decentralization can pull an organization in too many directions at once. However, by avoiding these pitfalls anyone can achieve organizational and professional success.

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Topics: Delegation

USC Price

Written by USC Price

The USC Price School of Public Policy's Executive Master of Leadership degree program is designed for experienced professionals ready to take their leadership to the next level.

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