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4 Steps to Effective Delegating

Are you a leader that carries too much stress and feels like you have to personally get involved in details that your employees should handle on their own? You are not alone. Many of the business owners and leaders I talk to voice concerns regarding the micromanagement they feel they must do for their organization to run smoothly.

Wooden man, thinking about delegating tasks to people

Micromanaging versus effective delegating

While micromanaging can allow you to get things done effectively today, it restricts your growth, leads to burnout, and contributes to employee turnover. Instead of micromanaging, you can de-stress your life and expand your organization's potential by investing in delegation.

Effective delegation is the key to you growing the talent around you, working fewer hours, and achieving organizational goals. A disciplined approach to empowering employees can create a learning organization that builds new skills and competencies through continuous improvement. There are four steps to effective delegations.

  1. Select the right people for the right jobs

  2. Define the task

  3. Establish parameters

  4. Monitor progress

The time you spend executing these steps will reduce the need for you to micromanage. Allowing you to dedicate more of your time to activities that bring you greater fulfillment, are more strategic, and generate sustainable growth for your organization.

Select the right people for the right jobs

In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins highlights the importance of having the right people in the right seats on the bus. This is essential to the success of any company. As a leader, your most important role is to surround yourself with talented people that can help you accomplish your company’s goals.

The first step in this process is to clarify what you are looking to accomplish and define the skills and experience that you believe are necessary for success. Once you do this, you can begin to identify who can best support you in executing this initiative.

Picking the right person to do a task is important. You want to identify someone with the will and skill necessary to succeed. If you currently do not have someone on your team that has the desired skill, then your focus has to be on adding additional people to your team or developing the skills of a current member that has the potential to grow in capabilities.

Define the task

Once you have selected the right people to work on an initiative, the next role of a leader is to define the task that you want complete. Start by linking the task with your company’s purpose. It is important to show people how the work they are being asked to do connects with the company's overall goals. This can help the employees to understand why the work you are asking them to do is important.

After making this connection, outline your expectations around the task. Communicate your desired end state. Clearly define what success will look like and when you expect the employee or team to deliver against that expectation.

Provide an opportunity for your employees to ask clarifying questions about the desired end state and their there path to get from where they are today to where you want them to go. The time you spend upfront aligning on the goal and the employees' path to achieve the goal will reduce the number of questions you receive later on in the process.

Establish parameters

Next, work with your employees to define the parameter for completing the task. You want to be clear in defining milestones, budget, available resources, and any other constraints that would influence the actions that employees take.

By aligning with employees upfront on what is permitted, and what is not, you will have greater assurance that any deviations in execution are linked to the employee's intentional taking action outside of your guidelines, versus a situation where an employee is uncertain about what they are permitted to do.

Uncertainty creates anxiety that can slow down execution. The clearer you can be about what you want accomplished, and what you need, expect, and want your employees, the great alignment and freedom to operate they will have.

Monitor progress

The final step in the delegation process is defining how, and when you will touch base with your employees on progress. By defining and communicating milestones, you and your employees have a shared understanding of where projects should be at specific time periods.

This can reduce stress and drive accountability because employees know what they should have accomplished. If an employee is off track at the time of check-ins, you can provide course correcting advice to get them back on track.

If they are having a problem that they can not solve on their own, you are able to redirect resources to help them complete the task. The key is giving employees enough room to solve problems on their own, but not providing so much room that they create a problem that is not easily solved.


Time is your scarcest resource, and once it is gone, you can never get it back again. As a leader, you need to value your time over everything else. When you take the time to delegate tasks, you free yourself up to do tasks that only you can do.

As the top person in your organization, you see things that no one else sees and can do things that no one else can do. You provide the most value when you are able to think strategically and not be bogged down in every detail of day-to-day operations. You hire people to be the experts in specific segments of your business.

Give them the room they need to exceed your expectations.

You position your employees to be the best version of themselves by picking the right people for the right jobs, defining key tasks, providing easy-to-understand parameters to operate in, and ongoing support to ensure desired progress is being made. At first, delegating will not be easy, but over time it will unlock your potential, the potential of your employees, and the overall potential of your organization. ,



Thank you for reading this blog

Executive Coach Dorian Cunion

Dorian Cunion is an Executive Coach and Business Consultant with Your Path Coaching and Consulting. He is a former retail executive with over 20 years of experience in the retail industry. He is a Co-Active coach who focuses on helping professionals and small business owners overcome insecurities, knowledge gaps, and lack of direction. He does this by assisting clients to tap into their values, recognize their strengths, and develop actionable strategies for growth.

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