“Hi-yo Silver, away” shouts the masked horseman as he rides into the sunset. The Lone Ranger saved the day and another episode is over. I am probably dating myself here, but I remember watching the iconic television series when I was growing up. Hidden behind a mask, Kemo Sabe, as he was called by his trusted Native American companion, The Lone Ranger always showed up at the right time to protect the powerless and fight off the bad guys. It was heroic in the Old West, but in the language of leadership, “Lone Ranger” has to do with the leader who wants to do all by him or herself.
Visionary Leadership is not for Lone Rangers
If you could do it all by yourself, as a lone ranger, would leadership even be necessary? True visionary leadership requires mobilizing people to join the vision and share the mission.
Delegation is essential for mobilization. Done right, mobilization multiplies yourself and your leadership potential. It gets the work done and frees you to pursue the higher priority items that will accelerate the pursuit of the vision. It involves five simple, but essential steps.
Step 1: Set Goals and Establish Parameters
Delegation isn’t just about giving someone a job to do. Excellence in delegation requires setting goals and establishing clear parameters for the delegated task. This must include delegating a measure of decision-making authority and setting clear boundaries of autonomy. Within those boundaries, it is imperative people have the freedom to make decisions (including those requiring money) without having to come to you for permission.
Step 2: Develop an action plan together
The key operational word is together. Help your team take ownership of the task and the vision by including them in the planning process. Answer questions together such as.... "What needs to be done, what resources are needed, and when does each step need to be completed?"
Step 3: Provide Support
Delegation without support risks failure. Keep constant communication with your team members to reinforce the vision and help avoid pitfalls. Avoid micromanaging every detail, though.
Step 4: Require and Receive Accountability
This step is essential for the vision, the leader, and the team member. Your God-given vision is too important to be left to chance. A healthy measure of accountability is needed to monitor progress and anticipate challenges.
Step 5: Reward and Celebrate
As a leader, I have often missed opportunities to praise team members and celebrate their achievements as soon as work is completed. Make sure to recognize a job well done, publicly, and give God the Glory for each step in the journey toward achieving your vision.
Set Priorities Straight
A friend of mine who is a leader of a large organization once stated that he will delegate any task which can be performed by someone else at 70% of his own capacity. We have a choice to make: to be lone rangers and do the job by ourselves, or include those around us who are willing and able to ease our load in the pursuit of the vision, so we can focus those things only we can do.