Rethinking Delegation: What a Great Team Can (and Can’t) Do for Your Business

Pete Mohr
5 min readApr 18, 2022

If you’ve read my blogs about entrepreneurial freedom, you know that I’m a fan of delegation. And I’m not the only one. Many business coaches and consultants will tell you the same thing. To preserve your sanity and grow your business, you need to free up your time and energy — and that means clearing tasks off your plate.

However, many entrepreneurs interpret that to mean that they can simply hand off items. But there’s a missing piece: who is accountable for that task? If you’re delegating a task but you still feel the need to babysit it, are you really free?

Not at all. So, let’s look at the other side of delegation: accountability and how to build strong teams you can trust.

Delegation vs. Leadership

Have you ever had a boss who assigned tasks but micromanaged all the assignees? Or perhaps you’ve been on teams where there was always a ton to do but no clarity on why you were doing it.

Those situations happen when executives delegate tasks without considering accountability. The best leaders inspire others to feel ownership of their work. That’s often lacking when people get assigned projects with no outcome attached.

Why are they working on that task? Is it because they’re truly the best person for it? Or because the boss was trying to clear off their plate and just needed someone else to do it?

In all the blogs and podcasts out there about delegation, this point is often overlooked. Delegation shouldn’t be done for its own sake. When you delegate a task, you should be entrusting a team member with it. If you are ultimately responsible for a task and its decisions, you can’t really let it go. It’s still taking up mental space, if not your time. From there, it’s just a short step to becoming an accidental micromanager.

As a leader, your role is to empower your team to make decisions that benefit the group. You should only be responsible for the high-level decisions. This comes back to a point I like to make: you should be working on your business, not in your business. If you’re delegating tasks but clinging to their decisions, you’re still mentally accountable for all those lower-level decisions.

Pete Mohr

Helping business owners transform from operators to owners of their businesses.