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  • AlexHurworth

Effective Leadership Through Delegation

When you’re in a leadership position, you can’t - and shouldn’t try to - take on everything yourself. 

Delegation is a critical skill to master if you want to scale and level up your career. 

When it comes to delegation, it can be helpful to draw on Dr Paul Hersey’s Situational Leadership model, which contemplates the ability and motivation of an individual.  You can ask yourself two questions:

1. How capable is the person of completing the task? - have they done something similar before; how well did it turn out? 

2. How willing are they to complete it? Oftentimes, it is not enough to simply have formal authority over an individual; it's important to tap into their motivations and sense of purpose if you expect something to be completed (and completed well). 

Mapping these two questions onto a 2x2 matrix (see diagram) can offer a guide for how to proceed.

If the individual is both willing and capable, this is a great scenario for delegation!

If this individual is neither willing nor capable, delegation is unlikely to be successful.

If the individual is capable but not willing, consider what would influence them to do it well. Take the time to understand what motivates them, and see if there is a way to reframe the project, or change the scope/conditions so that the task and their interests are aligned.

If the individual is willing but doesn't have the ability yet, consider modeling how to do the task, pairing them with someone experienced in the task or supervising them and giving them feedback. Or simply check in with them more frequently. This scenario is more suitable if there is some tolerance for mistakes. A high-stakes project would not be advisable.

Of course this is a simplified model, and every situation has nuances to think through.

Remember that the value in delegation goes beyond scaling your own capacity. 

It’s also an opportunity to grow the skills of your team and elevate your people.

If you’re a UX Designer in FinTech and want to develop your Team Leadership skills, we’re going to be learning about this matrix and practicing delegation techniques as part of our Team Leadership Essentials program.  It’s a four-part program starting November 30th.

If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to email or DM me on instagram at @time_is_precious_coaching

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