The Sharpening Stone – Delegate to Elevate

An interesting story came to light recently when the Tennessee Titans’ head coach, Mike Vrabel, delegated the head coaching responsibilities to his assistant head coach, Terrell Williams, for a preseason game against my beloved Chicago Bears.  I love this story, because it highlights what I consider to be a key leadership development strategy, and that is to effectively delegate, in order to elevate your organization.

Let’s start with defining what Delegation is – Delegation is intentionally shifting the responsibility for specific functions, tasks, or decisions from you, or someone else on your team, to another person who’s been properly trained and is ready.  Terrell Williams has been a coach for 26 seasons, including the last 12 in the NFL.

Delegation is a critical strategy for growth.  As a leader, delegation allows you to focus on higher-priority work while offering your team opportunities for growth and development. Coach Vrabel shared that this was a decision that he came up with to help accelerate Williams’ development.  He also commented that he wants Williams to understand the head coach role and what’s required, and then affirmed him by adding that he is confident that he’ll do a great job.

Here are the four(4) steps that I believe are essential when delegating responsibilities:

First, Determine what areas to delegate – What are the areas that others in your organization have the capability to take on; that are keeping you from spending time on the areas that only you can do?

Second, Who on your team?  You’re looking for the following key attributes in your team member: Demonstrated Competency, Integrity, and capacity to accept the responsibility.

Third, Clarify expectations. As the Leader, you need to be clear as to what is expected of them

Finally, Monitor performance – You want to Inspect what you Expect; and encourage them to always look to continuously improve the process.

By entrusting responsibilities to others, leaders enable their team to take ownership, make decisions, and develop problem-solving abilities. And just like we saw with Coach Vrabel’s example with Coach Williams, this builds confidence, fosters skill growth, and prepares team members for higher responsibilities.

Bottom Line Leaders – through effective use of Delegation, you will Elevate your organization to greater capabilities and organizational success.

About the Author: Steve Erb

Steve is a graduate of Purdue University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics / Statistics, and Villanova University, where he received his MBA. Steve’s career has included senior leadership positions with two Fortune500 companies in Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, and Operations. Steve also built out the Organizational Development/HR department for a software technology firm and was a key part of seven (7) acquisitions over a 2-year period; as well as developing a successful compensation strategy and structure.

Steve’s expertise lies in developing operations strategies that eliminate redundancies; streamline processes/systems; and deliver productivity, quality, and efficiency gains. Steve has a proven reputation for caring for employees and teams, resulting in an overriding “Servant Leadership” mentality that transforms company cultures and creates a sense of employee engagement and accountability. Steve is also known for his change management expertise and ability to gain credibility to align performance drivers, customer expectations, and initiate continuous improvement across multi-site operations.

The Sharpening Stone

The Sharpening Stone is a series of short videos from True Edge designed to sharpen leaders and their organizations.

Want to receive The Sharpening Stone in your inbox? Signup below.

Rely on our executive experience and professional psychological expertise to help you find your True Edge.