The Art (And Necessity) Of Delegating As A Manager

People may get bumped up to leadership based on their output; only now they have to hand off the nitty-gritty.

The Art (And Necessity) Of Delegating As A Manager

You need to know how to delegate work as a leader.


If you want something done right, do it yourself! If that’s your motto, then you’re probably a crappy manager and acting like a control freak and seldom trusting staff to handle sensitive assignments. You need to know how to delegate work as a leader.

Doing everything yourself is an excellent way to make your team feel stifled and resentful. Also, it's a superb path to burning yourself out pronto. Instead, learn to delegate assignments. It’s an acquired art. Think of it as if all the world’s a stage and you’re directing a play.  

Setting the stage

When putting together a Broadway show, the director serves as manager. They have to marshal resources and assign roles to the most fitting actors.

So first what’s needed is a good grasp of the overall production, such as what the timelines and budget are. Which kinds of obstacles might stop the spectacle? What resources are needed to mount a perfect performance?

Assigning roles

You need a good understanding of your cast's strengths and weaknesses as you determine how to delegate work as a leader. Who’s interested in what? Can they handle the workload and pressure? 

Your employees are like thespians: eager to perform. Some are raw talents; others are veterans. All must know which lines to learn and how to deliver them. Hand them a script and describe the deliverables. Be clear as a bell about what outcomes you’re looking for. Give due dates. Suggest resources.

Just as actors might hold back on asking questions for fear of seeming stupid, so could your staff. Make it safe to request clarification or to say, “I need help.” Then assist as required.

As well, be encouraging. Let them know you believe they can handle the job. Assure them you won’t micromanage. Plus explain how their part fits into the big picture. This builds trust and lets people reach goals in their own fashion.

Check in as needed

Even experienced troupers can trip on the stage lights. You need to check in from time to time and make sure they don’t. Schedule status update sessions. They’re a series of dress rehearsals. 

They give both of you chances to come up with corrective actions or ideas to improve efficiency. Plus you can alter objectives as required, maybe chastise or praise while at it. 

Reviewing the recital

At last, the curtain rises, and the cast shows what they’ve achieved. At this point, you become a critic and assess the performance.

Does the finished work satisfy the agreed-to objectives? Is the quality acceptable? Was it submitted on-time and within budget? 

Prepping for the next performance

No act of delegating’s complete till the stout woman stops singing. You still need to note how to improve the next show.

Could be you ought to shift people’s roles, so everyone gets a speaking part. Maybe you promote a stand-in to star. Or tell someone to rehearse harder or they’ll get the hook.

Lastly, there’s your performance to self-critique. What should you do differently to help the cast shine? After all, your goal’s to produce a hit with a minimum of drama. Learning how to delegate work as a leader isn't something you'll perfect overnight, but it will be worth every effort you put toward it.