Delegation: The Key to Team Performance

Delegating is like passing the baton in the relay race of leadership, where you hand off certain tasks to others.

It sounds easy, but it’s easy to fumble that baton. And see that guy on the ground when he fumbles it? That’s what you’re afraid of.

When delegation is done well, it’s a great way to lift performance – not only for a leader, but also for your teams, and I’ll explain why.

What’s Delegation Anyway?

In a nutshell, it’s putting the work where it belongs.

Think of delegation as handing over the reins on certain tasks to someone else. It’s not just about giving orders downward in a team; it could also mean spreading tasks among peers or stakeholders. But for now, let’s stick to talking about how it works within a team.

Why Bother Delegating?

  • Get More Done: Delegating frees you up to focus on the stuff only you can do, making you way more productive by ensuring you’re working on high impact items that benefit your team.
  • Trust Building: When you delegate well, it shows you trust your team, creating a vibe where everyone works together towards a common goal.
  • Team Growth: Delegating isn’t just about offloading tasks; it’s about helping your team grow by giving them opportunities to learn and develop new skills.


But you already knew this – and yet you fail to delegate as quickly, or as often as you should – don’t you?

Delegation Hesitation: Why We Drag Our Feet on Delegating

  1. Time Worries: You’re afraid explaining tasks will eat up more time than doing them yourself.
  2. Priority Confusion: Not sure which tasks are the most important.
  3. Wanting the Fun Stuff: Who wouldn’t rather work on the cool projects rather than delegate them?
  4. Guilt Trip: Feeling bad about adding to your team’s workload.
  5. Lack of Backup: Not sure who else can handle the tasks you need to delegate.
  6. Needing to Feel Special: Wanting to be the hero who does it all.
  7. Perfectionism: Thinking only you can do the job right.


Sound familiar? Those are the classic reasons that we don’t delegate fast enough – and by the time we have let delegation delay set in, guess what – no1 has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Delegation Activation: 

  • Stuff Your Team Can Handle Now: Are you holding onto tasks they are capable of, just to be nice or helpful cos you’re worried they are overwhelmed?
  • Things Your Team Could Learn to Do: Think about teaching your team new skills and sharing the load. Love of learning is a major counter to mountains of boring work – we’re more likely to find time to do it if it’s interesting.
  • Jobs to Farm Out: Can some tasks be done by other departments or people outside your team? Or is it time to start sending back the tasks that others are farming out to you which they should actually DIY?
  • Tasks Only You Can Tackle: Identify what truly needs your expertise, influence, or access. Then do it – it’ll remove roadblocks for your team faster than putting your shoulder to their wheel.


We often hesitate even after we have identified the need to delegate – and knowing how to think through our hesitation – and move it to activation – is useful.  Use the short checklist above to help shift yourself move from Hesitation to Activation.

Ways to Get Better at Delegating:

  • Share the Big Picture: Make sure your team understands where their tasks fit in the grand scheme of things to encourage creativity.
  • Hand Over Authority: Clearly spell out who’s in charge of what to keep everyone accountable.
  • Be Flexible: Focus on goals, not how they’re achieved, allowing room for change along the way.
  • Think about Development: Every task you delegate should be a learning opportunity, not a chance for you to micromanage.


Top-notch delegation is about knowing your team’s strengths and aspirations, creating an environment where everyone can grow, and using flexible methods that empower your team.

Once you kick your Delegation Hesitation to the curb and default to Delegation Activation, you’ll see your team’s performance soar.


Rebecca is Australia’s pre-eminent advocate for B-suite leadership – the expert in developing hi-impact B-Suite leadership at both a team and individual level.

Speak to Rebecca about:

                        • Individual and group coaching
                        • Team effectiveness and training
                        • People & Culture Advisory


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