A leader’s job is to ethically get the most from their team. They need to be comfortable with sharing power responsibly. With every decision, there is a potential for success and failure. Wise leaders stack the odds in their favor. They delegate to well trained and highly trusted employees.

Delegate to create engaged employees.

Employees need ownership to truly be engaged. Ideally, they want ownership as a matter of pride in their work. They want the boss to trust them and seek to make a greater contribution. It is paramount every employee understand their role in serving the customer. They must also know how important the rest of the team is as well.

Wise leaders grow their team members day by day. They seek to build confidence in a step wise process. As the employee succeeds, the leader increases responsibility and decreases oversight. These leaders know with experience and a proven track record, the employee will gain confidence and seek greater opportunities.

Be careful who you delegate to and how much responsibility you give them.

It is foolish to delegate to an employee who lacks the skills or confidence to perform on their own. Likewise, it is foolish to delegate to an employee with poor communication skills. Wise leaders avoid delegating to those employees who have proven to not be team players.

Frequent communication is the key to delegating.

Communication is the life blood of effective delegation. An employee seeking help has the wisdom and maturity to prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Stop and give them a hand and encourage the team to do the same. Do it without judging them. Honest mistakes reveal gaps in your training program and not necessarily the employee.

The time you invest to help these employees is very small compared to discovering and resolving problems employees opted to not promptly bring to your attention. Employees deciding to hide problems rather than discussing them is the sign of a team in serious trouble. It is a reflection of gaps in your leadership and communication abilities. It is also a sign of cracks in your team’s culture. Any lack of openness needs to be solved quickly.

Getting started

It can be uncomfortable at first. “Bad” things may happen. Remind yourself and your team of the importance of building a better tomorrow. It is your job as a leader to create conditions where your employees can grow and take on new skills as well as responsibilities.

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