The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
— Theodore Roosevelt
Delegation is an essential skill-set for any of us who will find ourselves called upon to lead. As we have said before, in reality the best person for the job is not any one individual… rather, the best person for the job is a team.
And that is the principle reason that an effective leader must learn to delegate. By which I mean, really delegate. President Theodore Roosevelt actually said it well as quoted above. Namely, that part of learning to delegate is to actually really delegate – and then to not pick it back up and personally meddle with it.
Sometimes this is easier said than done. And by saying it we are not intending to imply that one should fail to measure the results of that which is delegated to others (far from it; we should measure everything!).
Even so, delegating is only half of the equation. The other half is to refrain from “micro-managing” the once-delegated task.
So the questions follow: Can I delegate? Would those I lead agree with my answer? When I delegate, do I “let go?” Would those I lead agree? These are good questions for each of us to ask. And, it is equally important that we ponder the honest answers…