4 Decisions for First-Time Delegators

Like this on Facebook

“Being able to delegate effectively is critical to your success,” says Alice Katwan, Vice President of Sales, North America West with Genesys. I interviewed Katwan in a webinar in which our agenda was driven entirely by audience questions, with listeners submitting their stickiest management situations. One participant, Susan, asked: “What advice can you provide on delegating key elements of your role to others?”

After her children reached a certain level of independence, Katwan transitioned from her role as a high-performing sales account manager to a role managing sales teams. Recalling her early supervisory roles, and the coaching advice she’s offered other new managers, Katwan says it’s typical for first-time delegators to struggle with letting go of responsibilities. But you don’t have to.

“The most successful leaders don’t try to do it all,” says Katwan. Here are four practical decisions you can make, right now, to step away from day-to-day tasks and delegate with confidence.

Decision #1: Admit that delegating is crucial to your success.

“As you advance in your career and take ownership of larger projects, it becomes increasingly difficult to juggle your responsibilities and maintain the quality of your work,” says Katwan, whose sales team is responsible for half of Genesys’ North American revenue. Avoid delgating, and you’ll become a barrier to your own career success. Once you make the decision to delegate more, you’re not only freeing up your time and getting more done, you’re also making a strong commitment to your career growth. As Katwan encouragingly reinforces, “Delegating to others is crucial to your own career success.”

Decision #2: Invest the time.

“Delegating takes more time up front,” acknowledges Katwan. As a first-time manager transitioning into your new role, you’re probably feeling stretched by your workload. There are times when it will seem more efficient to simply accomplish a task yourself. But you can’t afford to distract yourself with small, immediate tasks. As a new leader, your top priority should be looking to the future, thinking strategically, and setting the vision and direction for your team. “In the long run,” says Katwan, “delegating will save you time and allow you to focus on the bigger picture.”

Decision #3: Believe in your team.

If you hoard tasks that could be delegated, it sends a message to your team that you think you’re indispensable, and that they’re not up to the task. Keep this up, and they may start to believe you don’t trust them. In order for your team to succeed, you need to let go. “Tell your team that you believe in them, and that you value their work,” says Katwan. As you hand over various responsibilities, she recommends: “Let them know you want them to succeed and grow their careers, too.”

Decision #4: Encourage your team to contribute ideas.

Once you’ve committed to relinquishing some key responsibilities, investing the time, and believing your team, you can begin to create a more collaborative environment by including your team in important decision-making. “It’s not just about you; it’s about the team,” says Katwan. “Include your team in identifying solutions so that it’s a group effort.”

Katwan models this philosophy by asking team members to contribute ideas and figure out how to execute on key initiatives. “Be an advocate for cooperation and collaboration,” she says. “If you include everyone in the process of creating ideas, goals, and targets, you make it a more fun environment, and everyone plays a part in the team’s success. I always say, ‘Hey, we’re a team and we’re all striving for the same goals, so let’s all collaborate and do this together.’”

Being an effective manager requires delegating more, which starts with committing to these four decisions. In doing so, you’ll not only free up your time to focus on bigger-picture initiatives. You’ll also build a capable, self-reliant team. Which of these four decisions will you make today?

Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.


Leaderly Quote: If You Don't Have a Seat At The Table, Bring Your Own Chair

It's #TBT time! Since the launch of Be Leaderly in July of 2014, this great quote from Midy Aponte has been one of the most-loved ...

Ready to Lead? Here’s Stuff You Should Read.

Looking for some good holiday reads? Here they are! These six articles from experts will help you to believe in your value, increase your influence, ...

Leaderly Quote: Change starts with unlearning

You don’t need a big team to make a big impact if you know how to lead change. Srishti Gupta, President and General Manager, Media ...

Ready to lead?

We'll show you how!
Get email updates from Be Leaderly.

Our mission is to provide the career strategies that help you lead, climb and thrive as a rising woman of influence.

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

15 Songs for Your Leadership Playlist

It was one of those conference moments I’ll never forget: Carly Fiorina had ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

6 Critical Missteps That Hurt Your Career Advancement

Let’s face it: it isn’t easy to break out and establish yourself as ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

Nine Qualities of Female Leaders Who Get Beyond the Glass Ceiling

I’m frequently asked to speak about women in law and specifically the issue ...

5 Things Women Leaders Should Stop Doing. TODAY.

Over the last couple years, I’ve had a front row seat to career ...

8 Types of Courage for Aspiring Leaders

“The truth is that courage resides within you; you must simply decide to ...

4 Characteristics of Leaders Who Get Hired and Promoted

Imagine if you had the opportunity to sit down with a senior executive ...

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

A few years ago, around the time when I was launching this blog, ...

Want to be Excited on Monday Morning? Be an Intrapreneur.
Want to be Excited on Monday Morning? Be an Intrapreneur.

“While it’s true that every company needs an entrepreneur to get it under way, healthy

4 Hidden Ways to Take Risks — And Propel Your Career Forward
4 Hidden Ways to Take Risks — And Propel Your Career Forward

“Have big dreams. You will grow into them.” — Unknown If you’re looking for a

How to Have a Thicker Skin for Negative Feedback
How to Have a Thicker Skin for Negative Feedback

Everyone agrees that it’s a smart practice to ask for feedback. Don’t walk through life with

Leaderly Quote: Don’t be a “lone ranger.”
Leaderly Quote: Don’t be a “lone ranger.”

“How do you know when you’re breaking too many rules?” I asked this question of

Learn to Become a Fierce Negotiator With Our Latest Infographic!
Learn to Become a Fierce Negotiator With Our Latest Infographic!

We hope you love our visual take on tips to help you negotiate like a

4 Sloppy Speech Habits that Undermine Your Influence
4 Sloppy Speech Habits that Undermine Your Influence

At what point would you stop listening to a speaker who opens with: “So, OK,

Asking for a Raise in the Age of #MeToo
Asking for a Raise in the Age of #MeToo

Thinking of asking for a raise? “The old negotiating adage still rings true: if you

Leaderly Quote: Demote your inner perfectionist
Leaderly Quote: Demote your inner perfectionist

For some of us active and recovering perfectionists, we await feedback holding out hope that if

The Top 5 Most-Read Articles this Month
The Top 5 Most-Read Articles this Month

Here are the top articles that other emerging leaders have been reading at BeLeaderly.com this month. Do

3 Ways to be a Strategist, Not a Tactician
3 Ways to be a Strategist, Not a Tactician

“You need to be more strategic.” Many aspiring leaders have heard this type of feedback

Be Leaderly Spotlight: Selena Rezvani
Be Leaderly Spotlight: Selena Rezvani

We’re thrilled to welcome Selena Rezvani to the Be Leaderly team, and to her new role

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Erin Lo
Emerging Leader Spotlight: Erin Lo

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing

How to Go After Awards and Recognition (and Win)
How to Go After Awards and Recognition (and Win)

Just last week, a Director at a well-regarded business school explained to me that she

Leaderly Quote: Don’t let fear steal your dreams
Leaderly Quote: Don’t let fear steal your dreams

“Don’t let fear steal your dreams.” — Sabina Nawaz

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.




We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address.
Copyright 2018, Be Leaderly