Delegation is a skill that must be applied and properly used, or else we may not be as much as effective and successful as we want too in our lives. The basis of delegation is to free us to do what we are best at, and focus on our zone of geniuses and talents. Another basis of delegation is to also free us to do the urgent and most important things and tasks in our lives, and the rest we can just assign to other people to do for us, it can be by either paying them to do it, or just ask for a favor. We see examples of delegation every day, at our homes, at our work places and businesses, at our Churches, and other endeavors in our lives.
One example is when a mother and wife, and let’s say she has a daily job or business, and she needs someone to look after her house or child during the time she will be working. Since her job or business brings her income to afford to hire a housekeeper or babysitter, and so on, she decides to do so and delegates house chores and babysitting for some hours a day to the people she hired. And let’s say she does not have a daily job, maybe she is a house wife, but still needs someone to help her with some other things so that she can concentrate on other daily chores and activities of being a mother and wife. Things that she is really good at or important, like cooking, or if she is still breastfeeding and a newborn baby to take care of, or her toddlers are grown but need attention from her like home schooling, or just have enough time to spend with her family, and do other things a mother and wife should do.
Though delegation can be taken as a sign of weakness sometimes, but it’s not true. Delegation is a very powerful tool and skill if properly applied. With delegation we can get a lot of things done for lesser time. If we want to be more productive every day, sometimes we must use delegation skill; there is no other way around it. Delegation is also good when we cannot do some tasks because of the lack of knowledge and skills, therefore, we decide to delegate and assign to the people we know are good at, and can help us with. We definitely cannot simultaneously do all things when all come at once, or be good in all talents and skills.
We can also learn about delegation through the Lord Jesus. He already had the twelve disciples that He appointed to be with Him most of the time. Let’s say ‘the twelve Disciples’ is Jesus’ special group or team.
But the Bible pointed out that there were many who needed to hear the good news about Salvation, but the workers were few. Because of that Jesus needed more disciples to go and preach to other people in other areas and regions that also needed to hear the Gospel and also be delivered and healed. And the Bible mentions and therefore, the Lord Jesus decided to appoint seventy more disciples and sent them out in pairs –two by two, into every city and place where He was about to go.
Why two by two? It’s a signal of partnership. We need to work in partnership, it’s a team work. But also in the book of Matthew chapter 18 verses 19 to 20, quoting from Amplified Bible version, and Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two [believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.”
Let us also read from New International Bible version, the book of Luke chapter 10 verses 1 to 11 to see how the Lord Jesus delegated His seventy disciples. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’”
When I read this passage I said, “Wow..there is something else to learn here.” When we go someplace for instance us ladies, to do our pedicures and manicures, and they don’t receive us well; what is it some of us will normally do? Leave, and don’t go back again. And the vice versa is true; when they receive us well and welcome us with good customer services, what do we normally do? We stay and take what they are offering us; it could be their services, or goods, and so on. And chances are, we will go back again because we like their products or services, and most importantly, their customer services. C-u-s-t-o-m-e-r s-e-r-v-i-c-e is important, and sometimes can determine whether the customer or person will leave or stay.
This applies to Churches too. When you go to this Church and you happened to like it, and they have been welcoming you with love and have been really feeding you with the Word of God faithfully, and you have been benefiting from them in different ways; the message is, stay, do not move from Church to Church.
Another example is when you have this boyfriend who really loves you, dedicated his life for you, and somehow you are not really sure if you want to settle your life with him. You want to date other people to justify your intuition, or could be just your suspicious mind. So, what do you do? You move to another boyfriend and another boyfriend…hahaha. Now, what advice Jesus gave from the passage? When you get something good, don’t take it for granted… stay…do not move around from house to house…okay..hahaha. Could it be, maybe, some opportunities only come once or do not come as good as the first ones were? Well, only God knows.
With delegation we can achieve many things. We can send people like Jesus to work for us, so that we can concentrate on other tasks.
Let’s say you are a leader or a boss of this organization or company, and have a meeting to attend tomorrow and you look at your calendar and say, “Oh..I’m also supposed to attend another meeting tomorrow the same time, the same day!” And you know you can’t be at both places at the same time, and definitely cannot cancel them. So what do you do? You assign someone from your team to go on behalf of you, and who you think can speak well and do a great job as if you went there yourself, this will free you to be able to go to the other meeting that you really think you must go because of the importance it will bring to your company or organization.
Like some things in this life, though they may have good parts, they tend to also have bad parts. The only bad part of delegation is when we abuse this skill. Things like over delegating, higher expectations from the people we delegate to. Also, over controlling and invading of personal space and so on can also make delegating become so annoying, when in fact it is really not.
And after all being said about the importance of delegation skill and the benefits it can bring, why delegation can still be an issue for some people?
One reason could be lack of trust. Does this person reliable to meet the task given? And if you are in this kind of situation, you can start by assigning smaller tasks and evaluate the reliability of this person, and the more she or he proves to be reliable, you will be encouraged to delegate more to him or her.
I don’t know if you have met them, but there are these kinds of people who think are the only ones, and the best in towns, and nobody else can do tasks as well as they can, and the way they do everything is the only best way. Because of that, they would rather do everything themselves than delegating to someone else. They could be right, but truth is, there are probably someone else who is highly capable to deliver the job as effectively and successful as they can.
Some of us do not delegate because we are afraid to look incapable and hence lose our jobs. We see this at our work places more often. We are afraid if delegating, the person may be doing a better job than them, hence receiving the recognition, and perhaps promotion. Well, to solve this problem, maybe we can use this fear to motivate us to take on more challenging tasks so that we can also move on to higher positions.
Lack of time to train, explain, instruct, or teach what needs to be done is another reason why we do not bother to delegate, especially when we know this is a temporary person or seasonal thing and not an ongoing task or responsibility. “Why do we want to invest this much time to something that is going to be helping us for a shorter time..right?” Why we see companies hiring temporary employees, and interns? Well, maybe they get to gain more knowledge, and companies get cheaper labor, hahaha..just joking. It’s not always about money and power, sometimes it’s about legacy. Some of us know and understand, part of being a good leader is to live our mark on other people and help them achieve success too.
Another reason could be money issue. Let’s face it; some delegation requires money to be able to delegate some tasks and responsibilities. In this era, even free and cheaper labors do cost something; it costs all kinds of resources including time, and so on.
If we can deal with the obstacles that may be hindering us to successful delegating, and use to our advantage this skill, we can achieve greater results and accomplish many things for ourselves, our families, and even for our companies or organizations benefits.