80% of You!

A Leader’s Struggle

A struggle faced by many leaders is the art of delegation. Art because the leader must know his team, when to delegate and how to delegate to the individuals on the team. It’s one thing to delegate tasks but the goal is to delegate whole areas of responsibility as the leader determines the team member can handle it.

When can the team member be entrusted with an entire area or project? This is often the leader’s struggle! Many of us were taught to train someone to be 80% of us. When they are the implication is that they should be entrusted with the entire area or project.

But what is 80% of the leader? I have often struggled with that question. Recently as I was pondering some areas of delegation I had this thought: 80% of a leader is when the team member can be trusted to get it right 4 out of 5 times.

No leader is perfect and no team member is perfect. But when a team member’s competence, experience, judgment, decision-making, etc. gets it right in that area 4 out of 5 times, they are probably ready to be trusted with the area or project.

But how does the leader handle the instances where the emerging leader does not get it right? Coach them for success. Evaluate and learn together. As you work together the team member will usually grow in competence and experience which will result in improved performance!


– Doug