Leg 3: Delegation

Lesson 3: Topic 15 of 19

The servant leader delegates.

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

Michael Jordan
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Are there times you just don’t want to delegate? How many times I have said, “It would take more time for me to teach someone else, than to do it myself.” Out of pride, I could say, “I can’t trust anyone else to do this.” Or out of fear, I could say, “What if the employee leaves after I teach my knowledge and expertise to him?” or “If I let go of this responsibility, then what will I do? I won’t be as important.” Okay, maybe this last statement is never said out loud, but we do think this, don’t we?

Be replaceable – for the sake of your business! The boss that must be in control of everything is setting his business up for failure. A person of integrity wants to make sure the whole system will function well, with or without her presence. As Jim Collins puts it in Good to Great, Servant leaders (whom he calls “Level 5 leaders”) want to see the company even more successful in the next generation, comfortable with the idea that most people won’t even know that the roots of that success trace back to their efforts. He contrasts these with “comparison leaders,” ones who are “concerned more with their own reputation for personal greatness, [and] often failed to set the company up for success in the next generation.”

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Our own selfishness can defeat our businesses. If I have unrealistic expectations of myself and believe that the company’s success hinges on me and my abilities, I will run myself into the ground, and perhaps lose everything.

What if you need to take a leave of absence for a few months, due to health or family issues? Is your business ready for that? Would it come to a standstill, or begin to fail without you? 

The most immediate risk in your present way of operating may be that you could not be replaced, if there should be a need of that. 

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As good stewards of the talents we’ve been given, we are to pass on our knowledge and expertise so the entire team will have the opportunity to bring growth to the company.

Give others the chance to succeed.

Pause and consider: Do you “stay in your lane,” trusting others to accomplish their delegated tasks or projects?