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5 Reasons Delegation Fails

I encounter many leaders who claim to be good at delegation, but are frustrated with the results they receive on delegated projects. Of course, they often claim innocence, feeling they have done their job by delegation. The blame then naturally shifts to the delegate.

The problem, however, in many cases, rests not with the delegate, but with a leader’s failure to delegate properly. There are certainly times when the delegate drops the ball and doesn’t follow through with the task (which I believe is often one of the reasons listed below), but in my experience, the failure of delegation most often rests with the leader:

Here are 5 reasons delegation often fails:

There was no accountability provided in the delegation process.

When someone receives a project, they need to be given a timeline for completion. They need a system of follow up, measures of accomplishment or benchmarks towards completion. A predetermined win is clear and understood in healthy delegation.

The leader dumped instead of delegated.

I have written about this previously, but if the leader had the responsibility to delegate the task, then he or she retains a level of responsibility to check in periodically with the delegate’s progress. There’s an element of partnership in a healthy delegation process, where the leader remains close enough to assure completion.