Time is a finite asset, so efficient use of time is critical in order to ensure high performance. Your effective leadership and efficient management allow you and your team to achieve your goals. Some leaders are excellent executors for themselves but struggle to lead the execution of others — in other words, they struggle with delegation.

Delegation is the art of planning ahead so everyone can take action. Becoming a leader who masters delegation is key for a happy, thriving and achieving team.

Why Delegate?

You do more in less time.

You can’t do everything yourself. If you try, you will quickly find yourself in a cycle of burnout. Not only would you be unable to finish it all, but the quality of your work would likely be reduced. When you delegate, you spread out the load, balance resources strategically and enable people to work to their strengths. The ripple effect of delegating — or not — is either powerfully positive or profoundly paralyzing. Leaders who do not delegate create bottlenecks and frustration for their team.

You obtain better results.

As the saying goes, perfect is the enemy of the good. A good leader is a good teacher. When you learn to let go of doing everything your way, you and your team can discover new ideas and approaches. Evolution (of processes and methods) happens when people with different strengths can contribute and take those strengths to the next level. Take time to invest in your team so you can trust them to be competent and take charge of executing key initiatives.

You can see the bigger picture.

A key principle of management is efficiency, or the maximization of finite resources. If you waste your time, energy, talent and vision on small tasks, your business can’t grow. Your team needs you to be the leader — the visionary or the integrator. People who are entrusted with leadership must lead. To lead means to put your mind in a space where it can see the bigger picture and navigate toward it. If you are in the trenches all the time, it is impossible to see the view from the top of the mountain, much less strategically navigate it.

What Happens When You Delegate?

You can focus on what others can’t do.

Leading and working on priority activities or tasks will enable you both to see the big picture and to be more focused on the details of what’s most important to leadership.

Think of your time as valued at $1,000 per hour. The tasks you choose to do should be worth $1,000 per hour to your company. When you realize the value of your time (without negating the value of other’s time), it helps you discern what you should be doing versus what others on the team can be doing. Don’t sell them short by doing their jobs. Don’t sell the company short; do your job.

You find freedom.

Do you ever feel there is no time for high performance? Delegation is rewarded with freedom! It doesn’t matter the size of your organization; even start-ups and solopreneurs wrestle with these questions. We all decide what we are going to do and whom we want to help us. If you are swamped, figure out what support would help you the most, and ask for it. You will find freedom.

You empower your team and duplicate yourself.

As a leader, you are responsible for empowering your team. When a team is empowered, it has more energy, ideas and ownership, and you have to do less motivating, directing and correcting. An empowered team rises, and when people rise to the next level, you begin to duplicate yourself, which makes attaining your vision even more possible.

If you never trust your team members with the basics, it is impossible to trust them with the complex. You, the team and the whole organization levels up when you delegate.

How Should You Delegate?

Define what you need.

To start delegating, make sure to define what is important, define your expectations and detail the tasks within each role. Good training and direction set a team up for success.

Match tasks with strengths.

Identify your team members’ strengths and weaknesses, and leverage their strengths to improve productivity.

Give team members the freedom to do it their way after they understand the goals.

Have faith in your team. As a leader, it is better to give your people the chance to do something in their style than to force them to follow your way. They will become more creative, responsible and passionate.

The ability to delegate is an important one to develop and master. Understanding how important your team is, lifting it up to realize each member’s potential and allowing them to work toward their strengths will create a successful team.