When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders. Quoted from pastor and author Craig Groeschel.
Every leader needs to delegate. It’s obvious, right? If you’re “doing” you’re not “leading.” Sure, that makes sense. But what you delegate is of critical importance.
If you’re delegating tasks to your team members, that makes you a manager, not a leader. And, if you are trying to delegate tasks as a leader, you’re doing a terrible disservice to your team.
What you really want to delegate is authority.
Our previous article spoke about developing and executing strategy. We recommended that you build your strategy and goals with your IT Leadership Team and then work with staff at all levels of IT to build Action Plans.
In those two activities, you are delegating authority to your leadership team and then to your staff. You’re giving them the authority to develop the IT strategy. What a gift for the non-technical CIO! You develop a vision and give your team the authority to build a strategy around it.
Your job is to challenge your team, give them permission to reach for the stars, and provide them a platform for personal growth. Isn’t that what leadership is really about?
It’s outside the scope of this article to go into the finer points of Servant Leadership. Suffice it to say that Servant Leadership is a philosophy and practice in which leaders serve the staff. That means giving them the authority, tools, and confidence to reach their peak performance. It means setting every individual up for success.
One advantage the non-technical CIO may have over the seasoned IT professional is the ability to see what’s possible without the constraint of current paradigms. Dream big and give your team the authority and tools to make it happen.
That also means trusting your team when they challenge you and having the wisdom to modify plans when you are confident that the team has reached as far as they can. I’d rather scale back a bit than set the team up for failure. Let them achieve incremental wins. It will give them the fuel to reach for greater heights.
Once we’ve created the vision and strategy, and delegated the authority to execute, we need to support the team with objective measurements and coaching, and support the entire business with effective communication.
The next few articles will explain each.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many of our readers and encourage you to continue to reach out. Email Emily@WolffStrategy.com and she’ll be happy to schedule a call with me.
Larry Wolff is the founder & CEO of Wolff Strategy Partners, a boutique consulting firm specializing in Enterprise Strategy Management and Digital Transformation. Larry has served as CEO, COO, CIO, CTO, chief digital officer, and management consultant for public, private, international, and emerging growth companies. His specialties include corporate and IT strategic planning, technology led business transformation, business and IT turnarounds, merger integration and large-scale project rescues. His methodologies span industries and scale to companies of all sizes.
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