Using Delegative Leadership Style to Improve Team Success

delegative leadership

Using Delegative Leadership Style to Improve Team Success

In the domain of leadership styles, there is a different scope of approaches that pioneers can take on to manage their teams effectively. Delegative leadership is one of these leadership styles in which team members are given decision-making authority. Developed in the 1960s by business consultants Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard, this leadership approach is one where authority figures give subordinates the authority to exercise autonomy.

Otherwise called laissez-faire leadership or free enterprise initiative, this approach engages people to take responsibility for work and add to the general outcome of the group.

Let’s examine the characteristics of a delegative leader, identify those who frequently employ this style, discuss the motivations behind delegation, and offer examples of how delegation can improve team performance in this article.

Who is a Delegative Leader?

A delegation leader takes on a leadership style portrayed by giving dynamic power and independence to their colleagues. A delegative leader, also known as a “laissez-faire” leader, trusts their team members’ abilities and judgment and gives them the freedom to make their own decisions.

A delegative leader confides in their colleagues to take responsibility for work, settle on choices lined up with their skills, and add to the general outcome of the group. They give direction and backing when essential yet don’t continuously hover over or intently regulate each assignment.

What are the Characteristics of a Delegative Leader?

A delegative leader possesses specific qualities that enable them to effectively manage their teams while giving autonomy to individual team members.

A few vital characteristics of a delegative leader include:

  • Trust: A delegative leader trusts the abilities and judgment of their team members. They believe in their competencies and are confident they can make informed decisions.
  • Effective communication: Delegative leaders are skilled communicators. They provide clear instructions and expectations while maintaining open lines of communication to address any questions or concerns.
  • Empathy: Delegative leaders grasp their colleagues’ qualities, shortcomings, and personal inspirations. They understand their difficulties and requirements, and when necessary, they offer assistance and direction.
  • Strategic thinking: Delegative leaders can see the bigger picture. They can identify which tasks are suitable for delegation and effectively allocate resources based on the skills and capabilities of their team members.
  • Flexibility: Delegative leaders are versatile and open to groundbreaking thoughts. They permit colleagues to investigate creative methodologies and allow for trial and error and development.

Who Uses Delegative Leadership Style?

Leaders in hierarchical settings and various positions can employ delegative leadership. Experienced leaders who have established high trust with their teams frequently use it. These leaders are comfortable giving their team members autonomy and decision-making authority because they trust their team members’ abilities.

It is especially effective in environments where team members have specific information or ability and can profit from having the opportunity to pursue free decisions. Moreover, delegative initiative should be visible in associations that cultivate a culture of strengthening and development.

Delegative leadership fosters creativity, encourages self-motivation, and boosts overall team performance for leaders who emphasize employee development and growth.

The Five (5) Good Reasons for Delegating

Delegating tasks and responsibilities within a team can yield numerous benefits. The five compelling advantages of delegation are as follows:

Upgraded Efficiency:

Leaders can distribute the workload among team members by delegating tasks, increasing overall productivity. It forestalls bottlenecks and guarantees that each colleague effectively connects with and contributes to their abilities and aptitude.

Development of Skills:

Team members can learn new skills and expand their expertise by delegating tasks. Leaders empower their colleagues to learn and develop by entrusting them with new obligations, eventually reinforcing the team’s capacities.

Decision-making Efficiency:

Team members are given the authority to make decisions when decision-making authority is delegated to them. This distributed decision-making process leads to well-informed and timely decisions, as team members are closest to the tasks.

Engagement and Motivation are Raised:

Delegative leadership develops a feeling of pride and independence among colleagues. At the point when people feel trusted and enabled, they are more spurred to succeed in their jobs and effectively add to the group’s prosperity.

Managing your time effectively:

Leaders can zero in on their significant investment in essential drives and undeniable level navigation by assigning errands. This leadership style permits them to use their skill where it is generally substantial while guaranteeing that the group proficiently oversees everyday tasks.

Cons of Delegative Leadership

The following are some difficulties that may arise from leading a delegative administration:

Can Reduce Productivity:

Even though delegative leadership can increase opportunities for highly motivated employees, productivity can sometimes be reduced. A few representatives might be uncertain about how to invest their energy or not know the organization’s assumptions.

To avoid a deficiency of efficiency, delegative leaders can put resources into broad preparation to guarantee that all staff individuals can finish their responsibilities without management.

May Cause Confusion:

Organizations that use delegative leadership strategies may occasionally encounter leadership or responsibilities confusion. A few representatives may not wholly figure out their work or might be uncertain of who their boss is and who they can request help.

Leaders can avoid disarray in their organizations by making open channels of correspondence, fostering a good leadership hierarchy, and working intimately with junior leaders.

Can Sabotage Responsibility:

While employees make many decisions in a delegative system, leaders are often still liable for their organization’s outcome. Delegative leadership can occasionally result in a lack of accountability among staff members because employees may not be accountable for their decisions.

Leaders can establish a system of regular check-ins with employees and a clear set of expectations to increase accountability.

Slows Adaptation:

Designating liability can furnish an organization with expanded adaptability and development. However, it might likewise keep it from changing its cycles rapidly.

The delegative leadership style frequently establishes a climate where every representative purposes a precise technique to finish their work. This could mean more changes when the business wants to change to fit the changing circumstances.

It Could Break Up a Team more Easily:

One advantage of delegative leadership is letting employees work in ways that help them do well. While this can further develop worker fulfillment, it might likewise make a divided work environment and can keep representatives from pursuing a shared objective.

What are a few instances of Delegating?

Delegation can take many forms depending on the particular responsibilities and tasks involved. The following are a couple of instances of how designating can be executed in various situations:

  • Project management: A project manager may delegate specific tasks to team members based on their expertise. For instance, they could assign one team member to handle budgeting, another to oversee timelines, and another to coordinate communication with stakeholders.
  • Team collaboration: In a collaborative setting, a team leader may delegate the responsibility of coordinating and compiling meeting minutes to a team member. This delegation allows the team leader to focus on facilitating discussions and ensuring overall project alignment.
  • Skill development: A leader can delegate a challenging task to a team member seeking growth opportunities. By allowing them to take ownership of the job, the leader provides a chance for skill development and advancement.
  • Cross-functional cooperation: Leaders can delegate representatives from each group to work together in situations that require collaboration between different departments or teams. This leadership style fosters cooperation, breaks down silos, and ensures diverse perspectives are considered.
  • Employee empowerment: Leaders can delegate decision-making authority to individual team members, allowing them to have a say in their work and make decisions based on their expertise. This empowers employees and promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility.

FAQs – Delegative Leadership

What’s another word for Delegative leadership?

Another word for delegative leadership is laissez-faire leadership.

What are the 4 types of leadership?

Types of Leadership Styles include:
o   Autocratic Leadership
o   Democratic Leadership
o   Laissez-faire Leadership
o   Transformational Leadership

Who is a typical example of a laissez-faire leader?

Warren Buffett, the Director and Chief of Berkshire Hathaway, is one compelling illustration of a laissez-faire leader.  Buffett is known for putting resources into organizations with strong supervisory groups and giving them the independence to maintain their organizations.


Conclusively, delegative leadership is a critical leadership style that engages colleagues and improves overall team success. This strategy works best for leaders with trust, good communication skills, empathy, strategic thinking, and adaptability.

Leaders can increase productivity, facilitate skill development, enhance decision-making, boost motivation, and effectively manage their time by delegating tasks and responsibilities. Executing delegative authority in different settings can foster collaboration, empower employees, and ultimately contribute to the success of the team and the organization as a whole.

It’s important to note that while delegative leadership can be highly effective in certain situations, it may only be suitable for some contexts or teams. It requires high trust, competent team members, and a supportive organizational culture to thrive. A delegative leader must also balance providing autonomy and offering guidance when needed to ensure the team stays on track and achieves its goals.


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