Hold on loosely, but don’t let go. If you’re a fan of 80s music, you know that these lyrics to a song by 38 Special. I recently heard these lyrics, and it got me thinking about delegating at a growing organization like Service Express.
Learning how to delegate is a topic I’ve talked about often. As a leader of a growing organization, you can’t keep your hands in every project all the time. I can’t stand micromanaging; this behavior gets you into trouble. By delegating, you avoid feeling overwhelmed and help to develop your people. By providing your teams with opportunities, proving to them they’re capable.
Not delegating is the first mistake but letting go of everything is the second. Leaders can’t just dump work onto their teams with no guidance, coaching, or transition period. There needs to be an in-between. That’s why these lyrics are so fitting: leaders need to hold on loosely but not let go completely.
Leaders can’t lose control, but they also must allow their teams to take on work and own it. Along the way, you stay connected by providing feedback, asking questions, and offering insights; this is delegating intentionally. There’s an art to delegating; you must allow people the freedom to do the work while also keeping in touch.
Delegation is a learned art. The best we can do is delegate intentionally and stay connected. Doing so allows us to trust our teams and see the work taking off. Leaders can always offer strategic insights, questions, and experiences along the way, and great results will show.
Often, I’ve found that my teams do a far better job than I’d be able to do. As I’ve mentioned before, when you do too much, you don’t have the time or energy to do your best work. Holding on too tight and thinking you can control everything is an illusion; micromanaging is controlling you. Download the 38 Special songs, “Hold on Loosely but Don’t Let Go,” and pay attention to the lyrics. As they say, “if you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.”