I was watching a Tony Robbins video the other day where he mentioned having a team of people with whom he works. Not having a team of people who works for him. Slight twist of words but significant difference between the two.
In my small span of career so far, I’ve met people who strongly believe in delegating. They write an email about a task with a follow-up on the given deadline. There is no real support. It’s more like they take responsibility of the desired result but not of the required action.
It was one of those topics that sparked my interest. So I started reading up on it and this is what I’ve understood.
Delegation is taking a result or action you’re responsible for and giving it to someone else. You’re delegating the entire responsibility on a hope and a prayer it will actually get done, and get done right. In case it doesn’t the blame is on the person who was supposed to do the work.
Leverage, on the other hand is working with another individual to produce a result or action. The other individual may do most, or even all of the work, but you’re actively involved by clarifying the outcome needed, checking in from time to time and helping solve challenges that may come up along the way. You’re leveraging the work, but you’re maintaining responsibility and ownership of the result you’re after.
One makes you feel like a team player and the other makes you feel like a mere worker. Such a simple difference, but choosing one over the other makes all the difference.