Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I see for stalled growth, low morale of teams, and not sustaining momentum has to do with leaders who refuse to delegate. They simply won’t. Either they don’t know how, they don’t see the value or they simply don’t want to delegate, but it hurts their team’s potential.

Here are 7 reasons some leaders aren’t delegating:

They might appear to be doing less.

Everyone knows they are the leader. What will people think if they are not the one doing everything?

(Pastors struggle with this one a lot.)

They fear losing authority.

And, this is a legitimate fear. Delegation, if it is done right, means they give up the right to control every outcome.

They still have to be available, even when delegating.

Delegation doesn’t mean a leader can dump and run. They have to be available to assist, advise and encourage. So, some leaders feel if they are going to be involved anyway – they might as well do it themselves.

Someone might not do things the way they would.

Let’s be honest. This is huge, isn’t it? And, those who have this as an excuse naturally assume their way is always best.

(And, that one leads to the next one.)

It might get done faster and better.

Okay, this one is certainly hard to admit. Faster is one thing, but better? What if someone else gets credit? What if they think someone is better than the leader? It might expose or grow a new leader – and, how threatening could that be?)

(I know. It’s a pride issue. And, yes, all of us leaders struggle with it at some level.)

Someone else might get credit.

Their credit! Credit they once got before they decided to delegate.

They simply don’t know the value in delegation.

Frankly, in my opinion, this is the bigger issue. They’ve never seen a healthy enough team where everyone has a role to play, everyone is a leader at some level, and everyone gets credit.

Any other reasons you can think of why leaders don’t delegate?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 23 Comments

  • Jim says:

    Delegation is hard. One of the reasons I struggle with delegating is because I can ask people to do something, but it doesn't always get done. I have heard people say "I hate relying on people," but when they don't keep their promises to do something, it makes us both look incompetent. When that happens, I hate relying on people. I would rather do it myself and know it will get done, than to ask someone to help with it, and they don't do anything.

  • Jim Harvey says:

    Those are the reasons I love to delegate…and if they
    get my job My Lord had a better fit for me elsewhere…
    JIM Harvey

  • pgowesky says:

    Funny. I read the post about 3 times trying to figure out if you were serious or not. Delegation is a funny thing though. I want to lean into it, but I do struggle with most of those thoughts. Ugh, so frustrating. Anyhow, thanks for underscoring this in our leadership Ron.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thank you! And, yes, I'm very much committed to delegation. It's possibly one of the single greatest functions of good leadership.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • Good thinking, Ron. It's good that you didn't delegate the thought process. It probably would not have been better. And, by the way, Brad, the new font might work. If you can't come up with it, maybe you can delegate it.

  • I was thrilled when I first discovered your blog a few years ago because the content really resonated with me. I found that you were able to articulate what I had been thinking and couldn't put into words, or were teaching me lessons through your posts that I knew were vitally important for me to learn. Because I've been fortunate to get to know you a little and because I've read so much of your stuff, I was a little surprised at first but then as I read on I realized you weren't being serious. Maybe part of me was a little relieved. Glad to see you're still with us and haven't lost your mind! I appreciate your writings, your influence, and your sense of humor!

  • zion says:

    Ooops! I haven’t noticed that. The category tags were barely noticeable on mobile. My apologies Pastor Ron. I stand corrected. πŸ™‚

  • Dave Corlew says:

    I get in trouble with my dry sense of humor too! At least I think I'm funny and OBVIOUSLY kidding. Thanks Ron – great post.

  • Scott Shaffer says:

    Ron,

    You scared me, then I read again, then I checked the comments.
    I really enjoy and use your posts with our team

    Scott

  • If I knew how to invent a font, I would invent a sarcasm font. In my mind, it leans the opposite direction of italicized font. But since I don't know how to do it, I guess it won't be done…
    Twitter: _brad_gilbert_

  • Matt Coiner says:

    I’m with ya! Delegation? Phaw! Why allow others to use their gifts and talents when I can muddle my way through? I like muddling! Muddle…it has a nice ring! And furthermore, how will people know just how awesome I am if other people do it?

  • Seems like I always end up thinking number 3 ; )

  • zion says:

    I like your articles and I’m a frequent visitor to your blog but I just can’t agree with you here.

    • ronedmondson says:

      I hope you realize this is intended to be a humorous post. That's why it's in the “funny” category too. I'm still a fan of delegation. πŸ™‚
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

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