5 Things Your Team Wants You To Understand About Delegating

A high capacity team knows that delegation is their key to success. To be clear, I’m not talking about a leader delegating a bunch of menial tasks to their underlings, I’m talking about clear, objective based delegation.

Here are the 5 things your team wishes they could tell you:

  1. "Don’t give me a task, give me a problem."

    You’ve got a team of smart people. They want skin in the game and that means they want more than to just do your grunt work. They want to invest.

    So instead of just giving them a task, unpack the problem the team is trying to solve.

    For example: "The carpet in our auditorium is getting old, but we need it to last for a couple more years." Problem identified. 

  2. "Tell me what the objective is."

    What is it that we want to accomplish? How do we know we’ve succeeded?

    If you’re going to delegate something to your team they desperately what to know how you are measuring success. Tell them exactly what you’re shooting for.

    For example: “I’m shooting for a clean welcoming environment in time for our Big Day." Objective identified...and you've even identified a boundary with that little "in time for" statement." 

  3. "Lay out my boundaries."

    Okay, this one is important and it’s so easy to miss. Unfortunately if you do miss this step, you create slow down frustration among your team.

    Think of delegation as a canvas. Your team needs to know what you expect them to paint, and they need to know where the edges of the canvas are.

    For example: "It needs to be done in time for our Big Day or it can't cost more than $1000."

  4. "Tell what kind of follow up to expect."

    Do you want them to come back to you with their ideas before they start working or do prefer they just bring you the finished product.

  5. "If you have a strong opinion regarding how this is done, just tell me!"

    The last thing they want to start working just to find out you “secretly” felt there was only one right way to accomplish the task. That’s just plain frustrating.

The best thing you can do when delegating to your team is to clearly define their canvas. Tell them exactly the problem you are trying to solve, the objective you are attempting to achieve and the constraints any solution must live within. 

That's when you high capacity team can really begin to shine. 

2 Reasons to Stop Building Your Volunteer Org Chart, Plus 1 Alternative

Volunteer Org Chart.jpg

I made a mistake when I first started out in ministry. I decided that I need to build an org chart. It was awesome. It had every possible roll I could think of and it was a masterpiece of an org chart. Everyone had a span of care, everyone had a role. It was a beautiful thing, but it was a huge waste of time for 2 reasons. 

1. It was completely focused on process and not outcomes. 

In fact one could argue it was solving a problem that wasn’t a problem yet. Organizing the teams wasn’t as important as focusing on the outcome. Focusing on what you want to accomplish is your most important step. Then solve the problem of how the team needs to work together to deliver that outcome. 

2. It makes people into pawns and not team members. 

When you start with an organizational chart, it isn’t long before you look at people like pawns. Your “in head narrator” begins to address people as chess pieces that will help you fill spots in your org chart. Yup, that’s just cold…and who really wants to sign up for that! 

So, what do you do instead? 

Start with the problem you’re trying to solve. That problem, and the desired outcome are the focus. When you start asking people to help, you’re asking them to be a part of the solution…not a part of the game. 

Give that problem a time line, "I’d like to solve this problem in the next 4 months. Can you help?” 

Now, that’s a much more efficient use of your time!