Delegation: Building Them to Achieve Their Purpose

achievement buy-in career advancement opportunities career development coaching definite purpose effort employee engagement employee purpose engagement gaining buy-in individual purpose leadership purpose leading with a clear purpose leading with purpose organizational purpose purpose driven employees purpose driven organization purpose driven workplace Jul 10, 2024
the power of purpose in business

Suggesting that I interview for a different position at least once each year was just one of things Kevin did to actively help me grow and move closer to achieving a purpose that mattered to me during the time he and I worked together on decreasing the safety hazards throughout the entire manufacturing facility. From the beginning of our working relationship, I remember Kevin showing an active interest in my background, hobbies, and family. We had a lot of conversations about the goals I had at that point for my career as well as things I wanted to accomplish personally. Looking back on that more than two decades later, I can see how he was able to use the understanding he gained through doing that to be intentional about the opportunities he gave me. I can point to very specific ways that helped me develop in the role I held then and how it groomed me for roles I moved into over time. And make no mistake, his effort to help me succeed earned a level of respect and engagement that I can’t say I’ve had for many others in my career. His name is one of a very select few that I actually get excited about when I see it pop up in a message on my phone!

Now, back to what I challenged you to consider before: how are you currently providing your team members with the support they need to achieve their goals - and continue working toward their definite purpose? As we looked at the R’s previously, specifically being willing to delegate tasks that aren’t Required to be done by us and how being intentional in that delegation can help Reproduce more leaders around us, I touched on how this can tie in with helping our employees succeed. The thing is, all of this takes time that most leaders don’t have an abundance of. There’s no perfect world where we can simply hit the pause button on everything else that’s demanding our time so we can walk a team member through all the steps necessary to take on one of those tasks that could help them grow if we could successfully delegate it. All too often, we face the pressure of pushing through it ourselves, as quickly as we possibly can, so we can focus our attention on the next fire that’s burning our backside. Sometimes we may be thinking about who we could hand the task off to and how they’d benefit, but there are plenty of cases where we don’t even have the time or space to consider it.

In coaching sessions with a number of business owners and executives, I’ve challenged them to block a set time where they start a list of the tasks they can delegate and begin making notes about which members of their teams are best suited to take those on. I also ask them to consider which of those same team members will benefit the most from exposure to these tasks. With the list started, they’re then able to add tasks or names to it any time. But without the list in place, any of the thoughts about who could do a task in the future are frequently lost as we fight through the urgency of the moment.

One issue I’ve seen come up more than a few times with delegation has been a perception that it’s just piling additional work on someone else while lightening our own load. Dumping extra tasks on our team members can indeed reduce what we need to check off our own to-do list, but what I’m referring to here is anything but dumping. To help our team members move toward their own clear purpose while we’re doing the required work to achieve the overall purpose of our organization, we’d better be clear about why we’re passing any given task to them and how we believe it will help them in the future. We cannot leave this to chance or assumption so we’ll wrap up with that next!