Are you making one of these delegation mistakes?

Daniel Bauer
3 min readApr 6, 2022


The other day I was sharing three of my productivity secrets.

Secret #1 was talk about your goals in public.

Secret #2 was you must keep score of your progress.

Secret #3 was 1 + 1 = 3.

You read that right.

It was my cheeky way of saying delegation allows you to multiply the results you create in your organization.

(If you do it effectively, that is …)

So today I want to share a list of common mistakes that will sink your delegation efforts. If you make these mistakes, most likely your delegation equation will look more like:

1 + 1 = -10

That’s because you’ll stifle the results and erode trust with your team.

Ruckus Makers … beware of these common delegation mistakes!

Mistake #1: Micro-managing

Your people hate it. You hate doing it. So don’t. The whole point of delegation is to hand-off a project or task to your team. If you are involved every step of the way, what is the point of delegating?

Mistake #2: Delegation is (rarely) abdication

In my “Delegation Masterclass” I teach the 6 levels of delegation. Only at Level 6 are you not involved at all. Feedback loops are important and your team should understand what success looks like, what the milestones are, and when you’d like a check-in.

Mistake #3: Ridiculous expectations

Leaders should be curious about their team’s capacity and what other projects they are working on. If you add to the plate, what will you remove? Sprint sessions can be effective and yes, we all can accomplish much more than we think we are capable of. Asking your team to turn water into wine most likely won’t happen anytime soon. Manage your expectations.

Mistake #4: Vague expectations

Be crystal clear in defining what success looks like. Do you include all the resources needed? Is there a process to follow? Has the complete request been communicated? People cannot read your mind so be as thorough on the front end of delegation if you want smooth sailing on the back end.

Mistake #5: Strengths mismatch

Ideally you delegate projects and tasks aligned with your team’s strengths. The more you can do that the more successful everyone will be.

Mistake #6: And this matters because …

It helps to express why a certain project or task matters and how it fits into the overall vision for your organization. Connecting the dots helps people see purpose and why their contribution is valuable. No one wants to work on stuff that seems not to matter.

Mistake #7: Lack of feedback loops

Feedback is essential. When do you want to check-in with the team? When should they contact you? How will they know they are on the right track? Schedule time to provide feedback and put it on your calendar.

Mistake#8: No celebration

This one is a pet peeve of mine. It is incredibly deflating to work hard on a project and produce the desired result only to have the leader mutter, “You’re just doing your job …” if the leader says anything at all. Celebrate your team for the results they create or they will start to look for a place that does see and celebrate their contributions.

Are you ready to take your delegation to the next level?

This week I am hosting a “Delegation Masterclass”.

In this training you will learn:

  • The 3 obstacles that get in the way of effective delegation.
  • The 6 levels of delegation
  • The two best ways to identify what tasks to delegate, and
  • A respectable, trusted process that will create results in advance when you do delegate (with a template for you to download).

Sign up for the MasterClass today:



Daniel Bauer

Host of the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast with over one million downloads 🚀