Ways to the Top | How to Delegate

Long ago I came to the conclusion that people are incompetent. Why ask someone else to do something you can do for yourself, especially if you know you can do it better.

Although this gets us the grade we want, we end up putting a lot of extra pressure on ourselves.

In comes delegation, a skill necessary for your personal and professional growth.

Because I’m not a CEO with 30 years of business experience, these are just some beginner steps for delegating.

Evaluate your team members

People have strong suits. They know what they’re good at; find out what that is.  If it’s a multi-faceted project, chances are everyone is going to have something to contribute to the group. Divide the work between them.

Communication is money

Clear communication is crucial from the get-go. When it comes to the project, be clear about your expectations for everyone. What do the tasks demand, when do you need deliverables, when’s it due? Lay it all out up front so there’s no misunderstandings. Have a vision for how you want it to run.

Motivate your team

When you’re in a managerial position for the first time, motivating your team members might be a little confusing and feel uncomfortable. Here are a few ways to get your message across. 


“We need to get it done and we need to get it done now.”

There’s nothing like the anxiety of being strapped for time in a deadline project. If you can communicate the urgency, people tend to feel a personal responsibility for the completion.


“Look, I would do it myself but I don’t feel comfortable enough to take on the responsibility. You seem to know what the task demands, and you’re actually really good at it, can you take over?”

It’s great to feel like you’re the only one capable of a task, indispensable even. Communicate their value to the project and acknowledge their expertise.

Don’t handhold

Unless it’s necessary. Trust your team to do the work they say they are going to do. You end up empowering them and allowing them to prove themselves. Schedule updates and plan to check in on their progress. Don’t be overbearing. You’d hate it if someone was breathing down your neck while you worked.

Acknowledge and appreciate

Your team just busted their ass to get work done. Acknowledge each team member’s contribution and show appreciation. Meaningful thank-you’s go a long way.

The Super Move

This one works 1 out of 3 times. Let’s say you’re in charge and you need something done. You know it’s time-consuming and you know the person you need to do the job won’t be happy about it.

Here’s what you do: you volunteer someone that will be blatantly inadequate to do the job and use reverse psychology on the group.

“Bobby, we really need to edit the images and get them up on the site. Can you show John how to use the program to do this?”

Chances are Bobby will say, “fu*k no, he’s going to ruin the pictures, I’ll just do them myself.” Voilà

Now I know that sounds manipulative but business is business. You get it done one way or another.


Anybody else have some ideas on delegating?


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