You’ve got this team member who you believe can become more than they are today. They are productive. They are positive. Others like to work with them. They “get it”.
Take a look at your own work load. Are there things you habitually do that someone else could be doing? Things that would free you up to do the real work of a leader – develop the next leader. How do you delegate work and develop new leaders at the same time?
It’s not a garbage dump. If you plan to assign someone a new task, a new report, etc., just don’t dump it on their desk, give them minimal instructions and then walk away. That person will feel…well…like they’ve been dumped on…
Delegate with meaning. If you plan to assign someone something new, tell them why. Explain that this new task will help them learn a new part of the business. Maybe it will give them the story behind the numbers. Inform them that by taking on this new task, it frees you up to be more available for leadership development for them and others on the team. You may need to take a task away from them to free them up for this new activity. Make the delegation effective, realistic, and purposeful.
One of the obstacles to delegating this way may be YOU. We all tend to hold tightly to those things we like to do and are comfortable doing. Perhaps you will need to let go a bit for the good of the team and personnel development. It’s not a bad thing!
Don’t forget to follow-up regularly with this upcoming leader. Ensure they can be successful at the new task. They will be learning much and you will get a fresh set of eyes on a routine task that you may have become blinded to over the years.