Delegation Decision Making

You decide, with limitations

Delegation works well when time is critical, when a single member of the group has the best information (and it isn’t you), and when the group is crystal-clear on what the execution would look like.

  • Slow – Fast 75% 75%
  • Independent – Collaborative 50% 50%
  • Hierarchical – Egalitarian 25% 25%
  • Private – Transparent 40% 40%

Delegation means giving someone in the group explicit authority over making a decision, often with some guardrails.

One of the greatest leadership traits you can develop is removing yourself from the decision-making process. Giving members of the group the authority to make a call independently will help your group act faster and give you more time to focus on the high-priority decisions that do require your attention.


  • Provides you with the opportunity to focus on other things
  • Owning decisions drives the team


  • May require significant hand-holding
  • You might end with decisions you don’t like

The Process

  1. Assess, Who is likely to understand the situation better than you and be motivated to help?
  2. In case you find candidates, ask who has the best understanding and is considered an expert/authority in the subject or the issue.
  3. Define the decision scope, what are the limitations (impact, cost, time, etc.) Define what needs to be maximized (solved)
  4. Delegate the decision-making task and clearly communicate the problem definition and the guardrails


Common Mistakes, Challenges and Traps

The burden of decision making

Decision-making is not easy and can carry a heavy burden. Not everyone feels comfortable with the responsibility. Be sure to tell your delegate what qualities of theirs made you choose them. Find out what’s really bothering them and do what you can to answer their concerns.