Delegating Leadership Responsibilities

Delegating leadership responsibilities to volunteers requires careful preparation. Before you delegate, take care to consider the following:

Delegate assignments in terms of results, not just tasks...
In order to accomplish something, project leaders need a sense of what they are trying to achieve. Therefore, define jobs as something to accomplish ("raise $500") rather than as something to do ("write a grant proposal").
Explain as precisely as possible what they are to do.
Explain the importance of the particular task in relation to what you are trying to achieve.
Show that you have confidence in their ability to carry out the task.
Be certain that the people you choose have the necessary knowledge and training to perform the task.

Define the level of control and indicate how much decision-making authority project leaders have...
Before the project starts, let project leaders know who will be responsible for making decisions.
When appropriate, delegate authority to make decisions along with the responsibility for carrying out the task.

Communicate any guidelines and parameters that must be used to shape decisions...
Be specific about deadlines. Help set priorities.

Ensure resources and assistance are available to accomplish the task...
Be aware of the types of support project leaders might need and the type of support you can provide.
Ensure the project leader has proper access to tools and resources to get the job done.

Determine criteria for success and agree on how results will be evaluated...
To be satisfied with their work, project leaders need feedback that indicates their degree of success. Prior to the project, determine the criteria for success and how they will be evaluated.

Establish reporting points along the way...
Set times to check in with project leaders. This provides the opportunity to discuss progress and helps you avoid those meetings that occur only when things aren’t going well.
Give project leaders your undivided attention at a regular meeting. This lets them know that you care about the work they're doing and how it is accomplished.