National Collegiate 4-H


The Definition and Importance of Delegation.

Delegation is a must for effective organizational management. It is also one of the most important and difficult skills for a leader to acquire. Delegation is an important training device and it helps build morale. From a leader’s point of view, delegation enables him/her to multiply himself/herself. It makes it possible for him/her to extend his/her knowledge, energy and time through the efforts of others. 

Delegation is the act of allowing committee members to successfully carry out assigned tasks; it includes impartment of the responsibility to accomplish program tasks, the granting of authority to make the decisions and take the actions required to accomplish those tasks, and the creating of accountability for achieving results. 

In actual practice, delegation is a personal thing involving interpersonal relationships, rather than organizational policy or philosophy, and it is these relationships that are the largest determinants of the success of delegation. It has been found that the critical point in the career of many leaders is reached at the stage when they must either learn to delegate or cease to grow. 

Obstacles to Delegation.

There are many conditions and perceptions that affect leaders and committee members in the progress of delegation. Even though leaders must delegate if they are to be successful, there are reasons why they will not delegate. Likewise, there are also reasons why committee members will not accept delegation.

    Delegation is blocked by incomplete or ineffective communications. Many times the leader goes through the process and activities associated with delegation without the committee member realizing delegation was attempted. Thus, the leader acts and proceeds as if delegation has occurred, with the committee member finding out when the deadline comes near. This is the most difficult reason to identify and can be eliminated by the job clarification process. 

Delegation Does Work.

Though delegation is one of the most difficult skills for a leader to acquire, it can be very successful and rewarding. In order for the positiveness of delegation to prevail, there are several areas that need awareness and concentration, those being: (1) leadership attributes needed for delegation; (2) the steps or process to successful delegation; and, (3) some cautions to remember when delegating. 

There are four leadership attributes needed for delegation:

  1. A leader must be receptive to other people’s ideas.
  2. A leader must be prepared for and willing to accept mistakes.
  3. A leader must forego the luxury of blowing his/her top.             
  4. A leader must exercise great powers of self-restraint. 

There are five steps in the process of successful delegation, those being:

  1. Policy guidelines must be clearly stated.
  2. Jobs must be defined.
  3. 3. Goals must be set and agreed upon by the committee, i.e. "People support and will work on that which they help to create".
  4. 4. Two-way communications must be established between the leader and the committee members.
  5. 5. Feedback systems must be established, through effective meetings and during the "in between meeting times".


Delegation is giving others the responsibility and authority to make decisions for which you are accountable. Delegation is perhaps one of the most difficult skills for a leader to acquire, but it is not impossible to learn and it probably reaps the most benefits of any other leadership attribute. Delegation is a must for effective organizational management and involves interpersonal relationships – the how’s of relating to and working with others. Now – isn’t that what success is all about?