I feel that being able to effectively delegate is a skill that many college student leaders struggle with. Many feel that since they are elected into a certain position, that they then must complete all the tasks that are given to them. However, that is not what being a leader is about. In order to be a leader, you have to inspire and empower others to act and effective delegation can help you do just that.
If you are a leader in an organization and have general members who want to be involved, you need to be able to engage them and make them feel included. If a member of a group does not feel they have a role or purpose, they will most likely become “the member that never came back”; regardless of how much they care about your organization or cause.
Without sharing power in an organization, the general members or followers will feel that the positional leaders are just power hungry and don’t care about them. If this is the culture that is occurring in your organization, you will be left with a lot of unhappy members. Group members just want to make a difference, and by allowing them to completely take on a project and make it their own will allow them to become more invested in the organization and will help them leave their mark.
Now, recognizing that your organization is in need of more effective delegating is easy but implementing this culture may be difficult. Here are some tips that I have found to be effective in delegating work:
1) Think about the end goal and list what needs to be completed. By thinking ahead, you can flush out all of the different tasks that must be completed to produce the end goal. Having a clear list of what needs to be accomplished will help you when you are delegating because you likely have a wide variety of tasks, which will appeal to different people. This leads into the next tip, which is…
2) Know your followers. Know the interests of the people around you and delegate tasks to them that they will be good at and that they will enjoy. If you are giving them a project that their interests don’t align with, they will not enjoy the process and will not take ownership over the task or make it their own. Additionally, if there are no tasks on your lists that appear to a particular person, allow them to approach you with an idea of their own!
3) Trust them. You know the people you work with and should be able to trust their judgment. Once you release a task to them, do not try to take it back because they are not completing it the way you would have. Everyone works in different styles and at different paces. However, don’t completely abandon them either. Make sure you are always there as a resource to help them if they ever need assistance and recognize them for their accomplishments!
Adapting to this culture of sharing power and delegating to others may be difficult to adjust to at first but once you are able to implement it into your organization, you will see a whole new group of leaders form.