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As the end of the year is fast approaching I have found myself reflecting on the achievements and leadership lessons of 2016 in readiness to make my leadership resolution for 2017.

One of my greatest lessons and equally a skill that when developed can free up a leader’s time is delegation. Delegation frees up your time to ensure you are working more effectively and is highly motivational to colleagues. However, letting go is not always an easy thing to do. What would be the impact on the business if you delegated a percentage of your current workload to others? What would you do with that time? Does that benefit or damage the organisation?

I am blessed to work as part of a talent-rich team, and through managed delegation, we have an embedded team within the organisation rich with ideas. A team who develop new ways of thinking leading to continuous improvements and reflections which are beyond just my own ability, but driven by a collaborative energy from the team.  Members of the team share a sense of trust and recognition for the value that each individual brings. Delegation maximises the value that you and your colleagues bring to the organisation.

As a leader, it is not always easy to delegate. Sometimes we feel that we should be doing the task in hand. My personal example of this was my first ever project, working as the project manager of the implementation of a new IT system. I had previously worked on the development of the processes and procedures which would be replicated in the new system, and as a manager of the department of the end users, I was determined for the implementation to succeed. I must admit it was tempting to dip into the individual workstream tasks and work on them myself but, in order for me to manage the project successfully, I soon learned that the delegation of tasks would be the greatest enabler towards success, ensuring that I was adding value and the team around me was engaged in the change. I am pleased to say the project was a success and equally importantly, that the team succeeded.

My leadership resolution for 2017 will therefore, be to reflect on tasks and seek to identify those which can be delegated. This will not only allow me to ensure I am working on value-add activities but will provide growth, challenge, recognition and sense of achievement for the team as a whole

To keep me on track here are three tips which I will use:

  1.  Delegation empowers colleagues and frees up your time as a manager – who in the team has the skills for this task? Is there a new employee or an employee which wishes to develop their skills?
  2. Aim to delegate more, not less. Work on the basis of “getting things done” through others, rather than doing everything yourself. Challenge yourself to change the way you work.
  3. Learn to “coach” not “tell”; recognise this as an important line manager style.

So now your turn – what is your leadership resolution for 2017?

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