What you need to know about delegating?
What does it mean to delegate?
Why is it important to delegate?
Delegating is important for several reasons. For one, if a leader doesn't delegate he or she soon finds him or herself exhausted and bogged down under too many tasks. Positions of leadership are simply too demanding for the leader to perform every task, major or minor, that comes along with his or her calling; and so he or she must pass those tasks over to someone else. Another important thing about delegating is that you're putting more brains to work at a certain task.
What do you mean by more brains working at a certain task?
Well, let's say that you're the leader of a company that's attempting to build a village inside a small ravine near a mining camp. You're building this village for the local miners. You know that miners have gotten a bad deal in the past, so you're anxious to do as good and as fair a job as possible. Just think of all the considerations that would come into play here! Who's going to clear out the ravine? Who's going to expand the ravine so that there will be room for houses, a store, a church, and so on? Who's going to design the houses? Who's going to design the sewage system? Etc.
But of course the boss isn't going to be building the actual buildings; what's he or she delegating in this situation?
Good point, the boss isn't going to be building the houses and clearing the ravine him or herself. You must realize, however, that hiring a building crew to build houses IS exactly delegating, only we don't generally think of it that way. Therefore, to understand delegation as it immediately applies to a leader, keep that example in mind. He or she isn't going to be building houses and latrines, but he or she is certainly going to be involved in picking a company for the job. He or she isn't going to be expanding the ravine, but he or she is certainly going to have a hand in finding the best ravine clearers possible. Now we come to the matter of this particular boss using his or her powers of delegation on this particular job.
Any last words?
Yes. Delegation is important, as we've mentioned, because it sets a leader free for other pressing tasks; delegation is important because it helps the leader retain strength and vision; delegation is important because it helps a job go faster; delegation is important because it allows other people in (for example) a company to shine; and, finally, delegation is important because two (or three, or four) minds are better than one. The leader who delegates will quickly find that the projects he or she is overseeing get done, not only faster, but better, owing to the principle of delegation, and the reason for this is that lots of other creative, intelligent people have had a say in the process.