Delegation Questions


It was Dr. Daryle Eldridge who gave me two questions that every leader ought to ask on a consistent basis:

  1. What are the things that only you can do?
  2. What can I give away?  (Careful here of giving away all of the “hard stuff” without some “fun things” too!)

When we neglect delegation, we are refusing to relax and let go.  In his simple yet profound read, Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, Hans Finzel terms this leadership paralysis as “Dirty Delegation.”

Finzel mentions several reasons as to why leaders fail to delegate:

  • Fear of losing authority
  • Fear of work being done poorly
  • Fear of work being done better
  • Unwillingness to take the necessary time
  • Fear of depending on others
  • Lack of training and positive experience

Try asking those questions today in regards to your family, church community, and business, taking another step towards empowering those your lead, freeing yourself up for more creative & exploratory leading, & being a person of trust vs. suspicion.


~ by Dave Smith on March 20, 2008.

4 Responses to “Delegation Questions”

  1. Here’s a question I have, although not directly related to this post.

    Has anybody been doing any good research/theorizing about what constitutes a good follower?

    Two presuppositions behind this question:
    1. The world can’t exclusively be comprised of leaders.
    2. I am a disciple of JC and thus a follower by definition.

  2. Good question Ben. I am not aware of any research.

    Your first point reminds me of an article I read a while back on The Ooze (which I can no longer find) stating that as Paul once reprimanded the Corinthians for their elevation of the sign gifts over others…that today may we are doing the same thing with the gift of leadership.

    If Paul were around today would 1 Corithians 12-13 address a different imbalance of the gifts?

  3. Perhaps Paul would make such a critique… but perhaps a more interesting question I like to consider is whether Leadership is properly called a “spiritual gift.”

    I’m not making the claim it does not fall under that category, because I think it can, as long as leadership is qualified by the Gospel. However, I think the recent interest in spiritual gifts in Evangelical circles (I’m thinking of spiritual gift tests, etc.) tends to play fast and loose with the definition of “spiritual gift.”

    Now, I’m hardly a Bible-thumper, but I do find it interesting that many lists I’ve seen of “spiritual gifts” are about as long as the NT itself. And imho, not all talents or “gifts” are “spiritual gifts.” The way I read Paul, he had specific things in mind when he used words like “charism,” and for us to play fast and loose with those terms is exegetic ally irresponsible.

    I suppose my other squabble with the explosion of interest in leadership is that it is clearly the result of culture’s interest in leadership material, and the motivation behind the interest is success, namely, success defined by achieving more material goods. I don’t think it’s wrong to focus on leadership; in fact, just the opposite is true. But – and I might be stating the obvious here – I have met so many church leaders who embrace the CEO model of leadership uncritically. And in my view, this distorts what being a disciple is about. It’s “followership” first. As Paul said, follow me as I follow Christ.

  4. I think that is a real balanced approach (and caution) you have with this issue Ben.

    Some really good questions regarding leadership and gifts.

    I have seen some break down the key functions of church roles from Eph 4 and equate the “apostle role” with the “leadership role.” They see all of the roles needing to work accordingly, so it is a healthy mix between the “apostle” (leader), “prophet” (manager), “pastor” (shepherd), “evangelist, & teacher.”

    In regards to your cautions…I am more inclined to committ the sin of allowing CEO characteristics trump a shepherding, pastoral heart. A hard balacne for sure.

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