The Art of Delegation in Servant Leadership

Delegating responsibilities within a team.

Using your well refined, Servant Leadership skills, it is important that you assertively delegate responsibilities within your team. Here's how...

Learn how to effectively delegate

Learn that you cannot control everything. Letting go is very important. To do this takes time and practice plus the use of some handy techniques. Here is one.

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Ask four'W' of delegate jobs (and one 'H')


Before passing a task onto someone else in your team, make sure you are clear about what the task is and have a good idea of what the results should look like. Ask yourself;
  • Can you clearly articulate what the project entails and answer questions your team might have? 
  • Is there room in this project for a fresh perspective would provide?
As a leader, it is your responsibility to make sure your team grows. Delegation helps with this.


Knowing your team and delegating accordingly will show your team that you have confidence in them. However assigning tasks randomly can have the opposite effect. Ask yourself;
  • Who is the right person for this job? 
  • Have I prepared this person to succeed at this task 
  • Does this person have the time, skills, and support necessary to do this job well?


Knowing when your task is due and properly communicating that fundamental. However, there there’s more to it. Understanding the task’s level of urgency will help you decide who should do it and how much support they will need. Ask yourself:
  • How urgent is this project? 
  • Do you have time to properly explain it to your team before it’s due?


The reason this task exists matters — to you and your team. Ask yourself:
  • Why is this task important? 
  • Why have you chosen this particular person to complete it?
Having a firm grasp on how you’ll manage the whole delegation process is key. Ask yourself;
  • How does this task fit into the bigger picture of success for your team and for the person you’re delegating to? 
  • How will you go about delegating it, and how should the person go about completing it? 
  • How will you support them? (or stay out of their way)?

Tips to consider to ensure delegation succeeds

  • Be patient and allow time: This is a first time process, so be flexible. 
  • Create a timeline for check-ins, weekly, bi-weekly. Consistency is key.
  • Communication is a two way street, ensure you are as communicate in your direction and feedback as well.
  • Express gratitude, thanks is free. A little gratitude can go a long way. You might be surprised, as many of us will go a little further for it. 
In my experience, if you get someone who is working in a silo and needs a little encouragement, then get them to fill in a role when someone is away. Confide in them, it changes their mindset, they become motivated and more engaged. People want to succeed and be helpful at work. 
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Avoiding common managerial mistakes

Here are some tips to avoid, that often managers do, but Servant Leaders do not:

  • Do not takeover. Working with perfectionist is difficult and life is short.
  • Flip questions to help your team improve their problem solving skills.
  • Sharing ideas denotes other ideas from arising. Instead ask ideas to frame things better.
Focus on bringing out the genius in your team!

Rebounding from setbacks

  • Think about big picture.
  • There are always opportunities to learn and grow as a team.
  • Rebounds are moment you can take to reflect and regain perspective.
  • Keep calm and composed during setbacks.
  • Think about 2 - 5 alternative work around idea. Always encourage participation.
  • Pointing fingers is not productive.
  • Personally assume responsibility for all failures.
  • Understand what happened and look for opportunities to improve.
  • Set up for future success.
Until next time, keep it agile!