● management and leadership ● 3 min read
Delegation & Empowerment: Balancing Leadership for Team Success
In the early stages of leadership, many individuals who are promoted to lead a small team may feel a strong sense of responsibility. This often leads to a belief that they need to learn more than ever before and be available to support their team at every turn. In an effort to avoid failure for both the team and themselves, they may provide assistance even before it is requested.
While these intentions are good, this approach may be flawed. By constantly stepping in to help, leaders may inadvertently prevent their team from facing challenges and developing their problem-solving skills.
The Challenges of Delegation
With years of industry experience, it becomes apparent that even seasoned leaders can fall into the same trap, hindering their team’s growth by being overly protective. To address this issue, delegation emerges as an ideal solution to empower the team and allow them to face challenges and grow.
However, implementing delegation isn’t without its challenges:
- The team may feel that the leader is less available than before and sometimes feel alone.
- There may be a few failures with product releases.
- Management might notice a drop in the team’s performance.
- Power struggles could emerge within the team.
- Last-minute surprises may occur on multiple occasions.
Identifying the Root Causes
In conversations with fellow leaders, some common reasons why they might get too involved, insist on being CCed in all emails, attend every meeting, and remain constantly available at the office have been identified:
- Fear of failure
- Lack of trust
- Difficulty in letting go
- Inadequate delegation skills
Overcoming the Challenges of Delegation
To effectively delegate and strike the right balance between involvement and autonomy, leaders should consider the following strategies:
- Build trust: Foster open communication and give team members the opportunity to showcase their skills.
- Develop delegation skills: Practice prioritizing tasks and matching them to team members’ expertise.
- Set clear expectations: Ensure the team understands their responsibilities and the desired outcomes.
- Provide constructive feedback: Encourage growth and learning by offering guidance and support when needed.
- Ask the team how they want to be managed/lead: Engage in open conversations with team members to understand their preferred leadership style and adapt the approach accordingly.
Encouraging a Culture of Empowerment
By implementing these strategies, leaders can create a work environment that encourages autonomy, self-reliance, and growth among their team members. Additionally, they will have more time to focus on higher-level responsibilities and continue developing their own skills as leaders.
Delegation is a crucial aspect of successful management. By reflecting on their own leadership style and focusing on effective delegation, leaders can empower their teams to achieve greater success while growing as leaders themselves. Remember, leading by letting go is the key to unlocking a team’s potential and fostering a culture of empowerment.