One of the most important characteristics of “great leaders” is the fact that they have mastered the ART of DELEGATION. I call it art because art is usually considered as something which involves SKILL and IMAGINATION, and trust me! You need both to master DELEGATION.
As I look back at my own career, and observe the delegation patterns of some of the leaders I have worked with, I recognize the following:
* Knowing what task to delegate and to whom is a great virtue for any leader. Simply because when a leader delegates work, he / she should have a realistic assessment of the capabilities of the individual the task is being delegated to, should trust him / her and should be willing to take complete responsibility for the outcome of this delegation.
* The BEST leaders delegate at least 80% of the work. What this simply means is that they have identified a “competent, trust-worthy and efficient” next level leadership : Which is an important aspect of growth and succession planning
* Knowing what NOT to DELEGATE is also very important for any leader, as this is a clear reflection of the “individual VALUE” you bring to the table as a leader. If all your work can be done by your next level of leadership, then either you are “redundant” in your role OR you are ready for the next rung in the corporate ladder
* As a leader, you should be cognizant of the co-relation between “delegation”, “responsibility”, “authority” and “ownership” – And should be able to clearly distinguish these in your own mind, and to those you have delegated work to.
* Many leaders have been at the firing line simply because of wrong decisions in DELEGATION! As a leader, if you get this wrong – It could cost you your job and your reputation!