You made a plan…You start to execute it. The question then becomes, who executes what? All too often the business owner or leader chooses to do the executing. They forget they cannot do it all themselves while they commonly complain that they are the only one who is doing anything or can do anything.


Delegation is a critical skill for any business owner or leader. I have heard a variety of reasons why this skill is not used more by leaders and owners. Among these are:

  1. I don’t trust them
  2. They don’t know how to do it
  3. I am the only one who can do it right.

In my mind, those are all very weak reasons for not delegating. My simple response to each is:

  1. If you don’t trust them replace them
  2. Teach them how to do it
  3. See my response to number 2.

Effective delegation is a critical activity for management and leadership; both as a development tool and as a means of accomplishing the mission of your business.  Delegation ensures a healthy business environment and engages your workforce. Engaged workforces are significantly more productive and businesses that have them more profitable.

Being able to successfully delegate takes a healthy level of emotional intelligence or EQ. EQ refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. It is a measurable component of who we are, just as IQ is. Without EQ your decisions become emotion based and as a result subject to significant failure or poor execution.  Developing your EQ takes work, but the rewards are significant for you and your business.

So how do you become someone with high EQ? Developing your EQ involves several steps and developing answers to them. Those are:

  • Determine how you react to people. Are you quick to decide, slow to decide, somewhere in between?
  • Observe when you interact with people. Are you the most vocal? Are you always praising what you have done? Do you let others share?
  • What are your personality or skill weaknesses? Are you willing to work on those weaknesses?
  • How do you handle stress? Do you get tense and defensive? Does stress motivate you to succeed? Do people avoid you when stress is around?
  • Is it ever your fault? Or is it because someone else didn’t do or say something?

Before you do anything do you take into consideration that what you do or don’t do will have an impact on others?

Successful delegation uses not only the skills found in EQ but also intelligence, decisiveness, determination, and vision. Delegation isn’t just simply telling others what to do. It is measuring the Knowledge skills and Abilities (KSA’s) of others to accomplish the task. The task and the person executing it have to be able.

The steps involved in delegating successfully are:

Define the task – If they don’t know what it is then they can’t do it.

Select the person or team – Assess their ability or training needs – Are the people selected capable of doing the task? Do they comprehend what needs to be accomplished and do they have the necessary KSA’s to do it? You may not always pick the team, you could pick the leader who in turn will pick the team.

Explain why the task is being delegated – Why they are chosen? Not simply because you don’t have the time, energy or desire either, but why they are doing this.

Define and communicate expected results – Simply performing a task is not enough. It has to have a desired outcome, it must achieve a result other than simply being done. Determine the desired outcome or result and communicate it. This includes any methods used to measure the outcome.

Identify resources required – What do they need to do the task? Money, equipment, training, and so on. Don’t let a lack of resources disrupt the process.

Set deadlines – When is the result or outcome needed? Next week or next year? If you don’t set one the task could easily take more time that you require.

Provide support, feedback, and effective communication – Keep the team informed, communicate with and support them. Further, they must communicate back to you. They also need to know how well they are doing. As they report, let them know how they are doing, both good and bad.

Delegation isn’t simply something you do to give yourself more time, although that is an outcome of doing it successfully. Delegation ensures that all of the talents of your workforce are used effectively as well as developed into stronger talents. As your business grows the individuals and teams you delegated to will become the future leadership of your larger organization. This is another positive that goes beyond simply hiring talent from external sources. The reward of promotion within your workforce becomes a practice that all can see. All of that made possible because of delegation.

Want to know more? Ask me, I’m here to help.