1. I could do it better and faster myself
2. I'm not doing my job if I have to ask someone to help
3. If someone wants to help, they'll tell me
4. I'm the only one who knows how to do it
5. If I do it, I know it will get done
6. If I delegate, I'll be giving up my authority
Instead of believing these delegation myths, Jethro gave Moses important counsel to delegate his responsibility, which saved himself and the nation of Israel.
Jethro, the priest of Midian and Moses' father-in-law, heard all God did for Moses and Israel in delivering Israel from Pharaoh and the Egyptians and their hardship on the journey. After Jethro said he knew the Lord was greater than all gods, he took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God and ate with Aaron and Israel's elders (Ex. 18:1-12). Effective delegation presupposes God's prior deliverance and submission to His leadership.
The next day, Jethro asked Moses why he judged the people all day alone. Moses said the people came to inquire of God where he judged a dispute between two people and revealed God's statutes and laws. Jethro said Moses and the people would wear out since the task was too heavy for one person.
He counseled Moses as the people's representative to bring their disputes to God, teach His statutes and laws, and share which way to walk and the work they were to do. Moses would then select able and truthful men from those who feared God and hated dishonest gain to be placed as leaders of 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s. They would judge the people at all times with only major disputes brought to him so they could bear the burden with him. If God commanded him to follow Jethro's instructions, Moses would endure and everyone could live in peace (Ex. 18:13-23). Effective delegation involves prayer, teaching the principles and applications of God's word, and selecting competent and godly men who feared God as leaders with spans of control no greater than ten to handle disputes.
Moses followed Jethro's counsel by choosing able men from Israel to be leaders of 1000s, 100s, 50s and 10s. They judged every minor dispute with difficult ones brought to Moses (Ex. 18:24-27). Effective delegation involves listening and following godly counsel.
After following the principles of effective delegation in the underlined statements above consider the following:
1. Assigning responsibility to others does not lessen your responsibility--it gives you the capacity to handle greater responsibility
2. Never assign a task to someone because the task is unpleasant to you
3. Delegate only if you have confidence that the member is capable of handling the task
4. When delegating, be sure to back the member when his or her authority is called into question
5. Even though you may be able to do the task better or faster, delegating allows others to grow
6. Delegating often includes teaching someone how to do a task-what better way to ensure that others can run the group when you're gone
7. Delegating can be a significant motivator in retaining members, it gives them a sense of accomplishment when a task is successfully completed
8. Delegating is most successful when someone expresses an interest in the task or when he or she has a specific skill which would suit the task, or when he or she has the sufficient time to do the task