Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Did I Mention Delegate?
Delegating is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. It not only guarantees that your employees (and hence your business) continue to grow and thrive, but it also mitigates the company’s risk level. Not many people have a “Hit by a Bus” manual, so what happens if you leave the company or need to step away for several weeks, and all that important information lives only in your head? Spoiler Alert: nothing good.
Still, it can be tempting to do everything yourself. Why?
- You know how you want it done.
- It doesn’t feel like you have the time to train someone else.
- You tried delegating before and it was a disaster.
- It can feel nice to believe we’re the only person that can do something right.
The answer is generally “E. Some or all of the above.” These issues are real, but ultimately, we’re not helping ourselves or our employees unless we delegate. To Level Up as a leader, you must learn to delegate well. Here’s how:
Know the Outcome You Want. If you’re going to delegate, figure out what you want accomplished so you can communicate effectively. Be specific: do you want to increase player retention for Dragon’s Gate 5? Great! By what percentage? By what date? What are the exact numbers? If you want the person you’re empowering to hit the target, they need to see it first.
Explain the Boundaries. Once you hand over a project to a team member, you can’t (and shouldn’t) micromanage everything, so you need to let go of the wheel a bit. At the same time, they need to know the basics first, so they don’t drive off the road. Anticipate issues and pass on useful information from the get-go. Is there anything that’s off-limits while working on the retention rate for Dragon’s Gate 5? What are they allowed to change? What aren’t they allowed to change? Is it acceptable for them to adjust the internal game economy from tokens to dragon pellets? Let them know either way.
Relinquish Your Authority. Once you’ve explained the boundaries, let go of control. Your team needs to have the authority to make decisions. It establishes trust, allows them to take more pride in their work, and allows you to focus your time on bigger decisions, like what you’re going to do with all the money you’ve made from the recent influx in dragon pellet purchases.
Remember the Goal: Freedom. Just like in Braveheart, the goal here is freedom, not only for you, but the person you’re delegating to. They need the freedom to do the project their way, even if they don’t accomplish it the way you would (and they probably won’t). This allows them to flex their problem-solving abilities and allows you to observe a new way to achieve the outcome you’re looking for – which, by the way, is why we’re here in the first place: outcome. Get Zen about it and let the result you desire come to pass.
Give Positive Feedback. Once the project has wrapped, give the person you entrusted some positive feedback, and do this whether they reached the goal or not. If you do, they’ll want to help more in the future, and they’ll keep pushing themselves to do a better job. This only bodes well for Dragon’s Gate 6.
So hopefully if you weren’t thinking of delegate, delegate, delegate you are now. Let me know what challenges you have faced while delegating or why you might still be hesitant to still do so in the comments below. To see how delegating can help you invest in your people check out The Importance of Investing in People- Part 2.