There may be a lot of misconceptions floating around about the purpose of Delegation and how to Delegate. Effective Delegation sure isn’t just dumping tasks on others and then walking away. It’s not micromanaging either. Here at TCBS we approach Delegation as a vital step in leadership and team development — it empowers the team and develops the leader. It’s an important part of our “Intentional Growth Path”.
Delegation is the intentional transfer of tasks and responsibility from a leader to a team member or team. Delegation is a process that provides the necessary training, tools, and authority for the designated person/team to carry out the task and responsibility in the same degree as the leader — sometimes in just a smaller scope.
A simple version of delegation might involve “assigning a task” within a project. That task would need to be clearly communicated, a person/team assigned to it, and a timeline laid out for follow up and completion.
This may involve a leader training a team member in a new skill.
This may involve empowering a team member already skilled in an area and training them how to use those skills within the existing frameworks, processes, and procedures.
This may involve a task contracted out to a 3rd party that has expertise in an area. As an organization or team grows, tasks like this might come back in again.
When you start a team, Delegation is a way you move from Engaging someone to Empowering and Entrusting them. You can start with simple tasks and move up to greater responsibility. If a leader isn’t engaged in seeing the team members grow and become leaders, then why would we expect engagement from the team? Being engaged and proactive are important qualities for good leadership and good teamwork. Clear, effective Delegation is a goal of that engagement.
Delegation fits in the process of training others to train others.
2.Timothy 2:2 (ESV) - “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also”.
Clear direction from the Lord should be clearly communicated to others, so they know what to do with it. Learning how to communicate clearly and effectively is important.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 (GNT) - “The LORD gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance. Put it in writing, because it is not yet time for it to come true. But the time is coming quickly, and what I show you will come true”.
How do you know who to delegate to?
Maybe you are willing to delegate, but don’t know where to start or who to start with.
Sometimes the Lord points out people to you who are skilled and qualified for the task.
Exodus 31:1-6 (NLT) - “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri… I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman… And I have personally appointed Oholiab… to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make.’”
Notice how God did not require or expect Moses to do all the work Himself; He had anointed these men for specific tasks in the process of preparing the tabernacle. They had the needed abilities and Moses was able to give them the direction according to what God had commanded him to do.
Sometimes you just need to pick from among the qualified people.
In Exodus, Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro came and visited Moses in the wilderness. He rejoiced with him at their deliverance from Egypt and then watched how everything was going. When he saw how Moses was doing everything alone, he advised Moses to restructure.
Exodus 18:24-26 (NLT) - “Moses listened to his father-in-law’s advice and followed his suggestions. He chose capable men from all over Israel and appointed them as leaders over the people. He put them in charge of groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. These men were always available to solve the people’s common disputes. They brought the major cases to Moses, but they took care of the smaller matters themselves”.
In Acts. there was a situation in the Early Church needing to be dealt with, and the Apostles realized that if they stopped to do it themselves (alone), they would be neglecting their main function. The Apostles called everyone together and told them to choose some qualified people from among the disciples. They set up a team to build with and it resulted in the Gospel continuing to spread and the Church growing.
Acts 6:3,6-7 (NLT) - “‘And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility…’ These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. So God’s message continued to spread…”
Delegation won’t function properly if there’s not good organization.
In an organizational setting, Delegation should follow your organizational structure and your established lines of communication.
Maybe you’re like me and were trying to fix a structural problem in a spiritual way — but structural issues need structural adjustments.
Watch the following teaching to learn more about how Delegation and Organizational Charts work together to increase effectiveness in your team.