Delegation👉 Why do some Leaders try to do everything themselves?

WRITTEN June 2, 2016 Author: Rich Atkins

noun   del·e·ga·tion   \ de-li-ˈgā-shən \  : the act of giving control, authority, a job, a duty, etc., to another person

Have you noticed how some Leaders and Managers try to do everything themselves? Have you wondered why?

The answer is a four-letter word that begins with “F.” You guessed it correctly – it’s FEAR. Think of all the possibilities to fear when it comes to trusting someone else to complete or take over a task for you.

There’s no such thing as true “fearlessness.” Everyone has fear. Some are better at working through it than others. To move away from fear requires risk. Take the risk to use delegation!

Delegating is a challenging side of leadership, and can get harder to do as you go higher in the management chain. Executives may find it difficult to give up control, especially if something goes wrong, and they are looked upon as the one to blame. Besides, the work needs to get done, and sometimes it’s just easier to do it themselves.

A terrific benefit of delegation is that when giving away a task to a junior it stretches and empowers that person. S/he wants to do well, provided the two of you have a strong working relationship. In addition, it allows you to focus on more important tasks—moving your team closer to the organization’s strategic vision.

What Should I Delegate?

Make a delegation list of everything in your job that you do that you should NOT be doing.




Preparing for Delegation

Schedule time – to give sufficient instruction and support (and correction, when needed).

Find the right people – do you have available team members with appropriate skills and expertise?

Choose something meaningful – Is the task related to organizational or project success? Is it important?


   Tasks that your staff members can do, or need to do well (testing and improving their level of expertise).

   People who can complete them and grow from the experience.

Decide with them how the tasks will be completed. Use this as a measure to celebrate success.

Trust is an essential part of the delegating process — having trust in your staff allows you the freedom and the strength to hand out the work. If you do not build that trust, you will continue to do things yourself. There must be a strong bond between manager and employees for this to work smoothly.

When leaders choose to delegate tasks, not only do they remove items from their to-do list, but they help employees take on more responsibility and develop skills needed to advance their own careers. Interesting and challenging work feels good and leads to more motivated employees. Motivated employees, and ultimately, goal achievement, are a win/win for any leader.

This information is from our Leadership and Management curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.

Other Resources:

You Can’t Lead If You Can’t Delegate

Reasons Not To Delegate

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