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Do You Suffer From Reverse Delegation?

Symptoms of Reverse Delegation:

  1. Your team has left for the day and the parking lot is empty at 5:00, but your day hasn’t even begun.

  2. Your teams aren’t thriving, and you have high turnover.

  3. You are, or have, the solution to every problem.

  4. You’ve said, “I’ll be late tonight” more times than you’ve said, “that was a great dinner!”

What is Reverse Delegation?

Reverse Delegation is when you, as a manager or leader, delegated a task or a job to one of your team members, and it magically ends up back on your desk to complete. This could be a job task, a project, or even a communication that must get out. As managers, we fall into this trap very easily but find it incredibly difficult to grow out of it.

The trap is set because of the weight we carry as leaders and managers: customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, time crunches. Reverse delegation fits so well in that environment because (and tell me if you’ve heard these before) “It’s just easier if I do it” or “it will be quicker if I do it.” This trap now expands to the teams we lead. When a challenge hits, the simple answer is “my manager can handle it.” But that isn’t the right answer.

As a manager and a leader of an organization it is our responsibility to train and lead our teams for their success, that will ultimately benefit ours and our customers.

Why is it do hard to Delegate?

As a Certified EOS Implementer, I teach my clients Delegate and Elevate™. This is a tool that helps them to live and work within their Unique Ability™, a term coined from Strategic Coach, and to encourage their team members to do that same. As we do that we thrive and so does our team. However, the challenge is letting go of that vine. There is fear that if we don’t do the task, it will be wrong. There is also a lack of capacity where we just can’t find the time to train appropriately to help our teams to learn our way of doing things.

I believe Reverse Delegation is rooted in a lack of trust. Trust that we’ve hired the right people to do the right jobs. Trust that, if given the right tools and training they can do the task as good, if not better, than you. Trust that those around you are sharing the vision and want it to be successful. If you can gain that trust, delegation will be much easier, and you can elevate yourself into a place that will have your business thriving and you’ll make it home for dinner!

Next Steps: If you would like to learn more about EOS® and how it can help you gain that trust in your team, reach out to Megan Alarid at Heightened Leaders. or

*Reverse Delegation is not a medical syndrome – just a waste of time that hold you back from succeeding!


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