Being a leader is not easy, especially when trying to run a successful business. With so much responsibility on your plate, and so many decisions to be made, it can be incredibly challenging to manage it all. Which is why the most effective leaders in any organization, regardless of the size, delegate.
Perhaps it’s not simply the act of delegating that makes for effective leadership, but rather the groundwork that needs to be laid first. Because in order to delegate in a way that allows your company to thrive and you to sleep at night, a few key practices must be in place. Practices that lead to a deep level of trust and understanding between leaders and their employees.
Failure must be an option.
Good leaders are constantly pushing themselves to innovate and evolve and in order to do so, you have to be willing to accept failure as part of the process. Most importantly, you have to accept that just as you will fail, your employees will fail too. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t think outside the box and take initiative. Rewarding and encouraging risk taking and innovation are paramount to fostering the kind of trust needed for your employees to feel comfortable. They must have the confidence to challenge themselves and make decisions without your input, and knowing they won’t be penalized for taking risks is integral in building it.
First-hand interaction is key.
In order to trust your employees with autonomous decision making, you must first get to know them. The only way to understand their strengths and weaknesses is to be out there with them in a hands-on manner. Good leaders know who to trust with what because they’re active in developing these employees themselves. They are personally coaching them. A key leadership characteristic is a deep understanding of your team and the only way to authentically understand them is to interact with them face to face and invest some of your own energy in their success.
Your vision must be clearly communicated.
If you articulate your vision clearly, your employees will be able to make better decisions. When you know the end result, it’s much easier to navigate the ship. And if your employees have a firm understanding of where your company is headed they can make their decisions based on whether or not they feel a course of action is in the best interest of that vision. This allows you to step back, avoid micromanaging and leave the vast majority of decisions to your team.
The best leaders delegate. But it’s the conditions they cultivate within their organizations that allow them to do so effectively. They release the need to control the vast majority of decision-making to their team because they accept that their employees will occasionally fail, they know them well enough to authentically trust them and they’ve clearly articulated a vision so that they can make decisions in the best interest of the organization. All three of these practices create the optimal conditions not just for delegating and for being a great leader as well.
If you’re interested in developing the talent in your organization, consider a custom leadership development program. Contact us today to learn how our approach and expertise could drive results within your company.