The Art of Delegating

AJ, a brand new manager, was eager to make a great impression with the upper management team in his organization. Because this project was one of the first he was responsible for leading, there was a greater interest from his superiors on how his team performed. Because of this added stress, AJ became a micromanager and would mandate his techniques on his team. Instead of providing encouragement, direction, and empowering employees, AJ would often stand behind their shoulders and show them exactly how he wanted certain tasks to be done. The result of this type of leadership:  the only work that was actually completed was done by AJ himself. In addition to this, AJ’s employees did not have much respect for him, and they often talked negatively behind his back creating an unhealthy work environment.

One crucial leadership skill that AJ was missing was how to delegate effectively. Delegation is a crucial aspect of leadership in clinical and corporate roles. As a leader, it is essential to delegate tasks to team members effectively to ensure the delivery of high-quality patient care. Delegation can also help to increase team efficiency, promote staff development and growth, and reduce stress levels.

Although delegation can yield positive results, it is more than just assigning tasks and responsibilities to others. It requires a thoughtful and deliberate approach that considers the unique strengths, skills, and preferences of team members. The following principles can help leaders delegate more effectively:

  1. Identify the Right Tasks: Leaders should identify the tasks and responsibilities that are best suited for delegation. These may include routine or repetitive tasks, tasks that require specific skills or expertise, or tasks that require a different perspective or approach.
  2. Choose the Right Person: Leaders should carefully consider the skills, strengths, and preferences of team members when delegating tasks. This ensures that the right person is assigned to the right task, resulting in greater efficiency and better outcomes.
  3. Provide Clear Instructions: Leaders should provide clear and concise instructions when delegating tasks. This includes specifying the expected outcomes, deadlines, and any other relevant details.
  4. Provide Support and Feedback: Leaders should provide ongoing support and feedback to team members as they complete delegated tasks. This includes answering questions, providing guidance, and offering feedback on performance.
  5. Hold Team Members Accountable: Leaders should hold team members accountable for completing delegated tasks effectively and on time. This includes setting clear expectations and consequences for non-performance.

Effective delegation requires a mindset shift where leaders must be willing to let go of certain tasks and responsibilities and trust their team members to complete them at a high level. While it can be challenging, this type of delegation is critical for achieving organizational success and fostering growth and development among team members.


Entrepreneur. (2021). How to Delegate Effectively: A Guide for Leaders. Retrieved from

Forbes. (2019). The Art of Delegation: How to Get More Done at Work and Build Trust with Your Team. Retrieved from

Harvard Business Review. (2018). The Right Way to Delegate Tasks to Your Team. Retrieved from

KPMG. (2021). Effective Delegation – Key to Leadership Success. Retrieved from

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2017). The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

O’Connor, M., & McCarthy, V. J. C. (2015). Delegation and supervision of healthcare assistants’ work in the daily management of uncertainty and the unexpected in clinical practice: invisible learning among newly qualified nurses. Nurse Education in Practice, 15(5), 388-394.

Zwarenstein, M., Goldman, J., & Reeves, S. (2009). Interprofessional collaboration: effects of practice-based interventions on professional practice and healthcare outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3).

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