In our last post on delegation, we focused on situational leadership and how it impacts the role a leader plays in transferring work and responsibility to others. In this post the focus will shift to when one should delegate, and when one shouldn’t.
Choosing tasks to delegate can be trickier than it seems. There are some tasks, such as high-risk or crisis-related activities, that leaders should never delegate. Other responsibilities, including those that will be performed once or rarely and require much guidance and direction, should also not be included.
To determine when delegation is most appropriate, consider these key questions:
Is this a task that someone else can do, or is it critical that you do it yourself?
Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task?
Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person's skills?
Is this a task that will recur with some frequency, in a similar form, in the future?
Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively and stay on top of things? Time must be available for adequate training, for questions and answers, to check in on progress, and to re-imagine/rework when necessary.