6 Delegation Tips That Build Trust and Results

by  John Bossong  |  Leadership Development

6 Delegation Tips that Build Trust | Lead Change GroupDelegation is powerful.   It’s a huge part of growing a business and creating trust.   One person can only do so much effectively.  To multiply and accomplish more, delegating effectively is vital.

Why do people struggle with delegation?   Not because they don’t want to delegate, but because they are not taught how to delegate effectively.

Many leaders delegate activities rather than results and then micromanage the process.  This micromanagement creates a lack of trust.

Effective delegation actually increases the amount of time you can allocate to high priority, non-urgent items.  Take time on the front end and set things up properly so effective delegation is built into the culture of the organization.

 3 Delegation Tips That Create Trust

  1. Create a culture of delegation.  According to Stephen R. Covey, in his book “Principle Centered Leadership”, most people won’t take the time to explain, to train to commit.  Dave Ramsey, author of EntreLeadership, states that you don’t start with delegation; you hire the right people and create the culture first.  Lay the foundation for effective delegation.
  2. Create a culture of mutual trust.  To delegate effectively there has to be a high level of trust and trustworthiness in the organization.  Stephen M.R. Covey, author of “Smart Trust” states that nothing engages someone like being trusted.
  3. Delegate results not activities.   When all you delegate is activities, buy-in is less likely.  Covey states that Stewardship Delegation is the most powerful and effective form of delegation.   Delegate the results you want and let the employees work within the guidelines you provide to achieve the results.

3 Delegation Tips That Build Results

  1. Declare your intent to motive (why) behind the (what).  Explain why you are delegating, there are no hidden agendas.   This makes it open and builds trust.
  2. Qualify expectations.  Describe what winning looks like, this creates a no surprises effect.
  3. Have an accountability process.  The employees will anticipate it, and, because it was mutually put together they will respect and trust it.

The Power of Trust

Trust is powerful.    It’s also fast (see Covey’s book The Speed of Trust).   It can be lost quickly.  Trust is also reciprocal.  If you give trust, it will be given back to you.   According to Covey, delegation is a result of this trust.

What are some effective delegation methods that you have used / practiced? What advice would you give beginning leaders about delegation?

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What People Are Saying

John  |  20 Aug 2012  |  Reply

Thanks for your points on delegating. Good tips which can help any organization improve it’s performance and morale. In particular point 3 caught my attention; Delegate the results, not the activities. By delegating the results, I see it giving more autonomy to those producing the results. It gives them more pride that they can help develop the process and the activities that will produce the results. This is a great motivator when you delegate.
Great points.
Jerry D Ross

John Bossong  |  20 Aug 2012  |  Reply


Thanks for your comments. Delegating the results rather than the activities certainly gives the associate ownership and develops trust. They are part of the solution and help create and lead.


Christina Lattimer  |  20 Aug 2012  |  Reply

Hi John, Great Post. I’ve always been an advocate of delegation and even at the risk of some negative views about it, delegated freely and widely as often as I could. (without overloading anyone I hasten to add). I always believed delegating involved people. I have explained the benefits in the past to others but never as eloquently as you describe in your article. Well said!


John Bossong  |  20 Aug 2012  |  Reply


Thanks you for your comments. Glad to hear you are an advocate of delegating. Keep up the good work and delegate whenever possible.


Raquel Masco  |  20 Aug 2012  |  Reply

This article is so right on time for me;very relevant. Our non-profit is growing and I’ve recently delegated a couple of projects. It was harder than I thought it would be. This advice in this article will definitey help for next time. Thank you!

John Bossong  |  21 Aug 2012  |  Reply


I’m glad the article was timely for you and relevant. Good luck with your upcoming projects and best of luck with your non-profit. I wish you a lot of success.


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