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DELEGATION VERSUS DEPENDENCE

Delegatiion vs dependance
Delegation is a leadership principle. Dependence is a leadership vice. There’s a thin line between the two and that’s why as a leader you should be on the look out to avoid getting caught up on the wrong side.

Why Delegation?

Delegation helps you deal with one-man show kind of leadership. This whereby everything is you, for you and by you. Delegation facilitates the grooming of your possible successors. It builds the confidence levels of your subordinates and their trust in your mandate as a leader. As it’s popularly said “you can never really appreciate something until you have your own share.” It applies here, no one will ever fully appreciate your responsibility as a leader until they have their chance to lead.

When to delegate?

First and foremost, you only get to delegate when you are unable to do it yourself. Realize, everyone else has them on duties and when you are asking them to do yours, no one is relieving them off their responsibilities. As a leader, you will never run out of the need to delegate and that’s why you need to delegate responsibly. Secondly, you delegate deliberately for example when you are grooming someone for a higher responsibility. You do this in order to evaluate their potential and ability to execute the mandates of the position in question. They can either be aware of it or not depending on your intentions.

How to delegate?

The main reason why most people operate at the bare minimum when they could have assigned someone with a better know-how the same tasks is because we all want it to happen how we’d have done it. We are afraid of possible mistakes by other people but not ours. We’d rather delay but not have someone else do it. I’m a super melancholic and delegation wasn’t my thing until I sat in a lecture, I’d say it’s one of the best lectures I ever attended in Medical school. It was a lecture on Laboratory Management and Ethics; subtopic: Delegation. Here’s how you should delegate.

First, you delegate to someone with the capacity required to execute the mandate. More like, you cannot delegate your driving to someone without a driving license.

Secondly, communication is key to delegation. As the person delegating, it is your responsibility to keep your communications on. Normally, when you’re doing someone else’s duty, there’s a natural instinct that keeps most people from too much consultations which is wrong. You are required to ask for clarity when something is not clear, report uncertainties and any other thing. Especially, when you are doing it for the first time.

Blazing the Trail

Lastly, you’re responsible for any losses. Just because someone else is doing your job, it doesn’t exempt you from anything that goes wrong. Remember, this person is working in your name. that means, every result is in your name whether it is good news or bad news. Under no circumstances should you take pride only when it’s convenient. If you do that, no one will ever want to help you do your work, because that’s exactly what delegation is, someone else doing your work.

So, what about dependence then?

Dependence occurs as a result of over-delegation. There are many things that can get you here. These include: taking up too many responsibilities at a go, taking up responsibilities you lack expertise on how to execute them, laziness and lack of motivation. All these situations will force you to delegate. However, if you are not careful enough, you might get yourself to a point of total dependence. Where you cannot get things done without getting help from someone else when you shouldn’t be. Slowly, you’ll have yourself suffering from what I’d call “overdependence syndrome”. And that’s why I said earlier on, you need to delegate responsibly.

Everything has a beginning and the end. Where delegation ends, dependence starts.

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