4 responsibilities successful leaders won't delegate

Successful leaders don't underestimate the competencies and value of their staff, and understand the power of delegation. However, there are several important duties leaders should always take responsibility for themselves.

At the head of an organization, a leader is responsible for placing expectations and enforcing standards among employees, as well as overall culture. Delegating tasks related to these areas can at once undermine leaders' authority and expose them to criticism.

Consider the following four tasks successful leaders won't delegate.

1. Delivering praise and discipline. According to Bernard Marr, an expert in strategy and performance management, it's important for managers to be the ones giving praise and discipline, especially in leadership roles in higher ranks. While disciplining employees is unpleasant, handing the job off to a subordinate shows a lack of respect to the person receiving the discipline and also prevents the opportunity of having a conversation with the employee on what to do or change moving forward. Similarly, praise and incentives that come from a high-ranking leader is very meaningful and inspiring. Leaders should take advantage of the opportunity to show recognition of good work.

2. Culture and team building. "Perhaps a manager's most important job is building, training and nurturing his or her team, which is why it's vital not to completely outsource these tasks," according to Mr. Marr. Employees think of their managers — especially top executives — as the figureheads of an organization's culture, so it's imperative for leaders to take a proactive stance when it comes to setting the mission and goals, as well cultivating the culture of an organization.

Additionally, managing talent is an essential aspect of team building that leaders should take the reins on. According to an article by Laura Stack, expert in productivity and performance, international speaker and author, it is leaders' responsibility to take a hands-on approach to recruiting and selecting new employees. Once someone joins the organization, the leader's talent management responsibilities don't end. Instead, the manager should "continue to mold and shape them with training, team culture, motivation and any other tools at hand to ensure they fit as seamlessly as possible into the team," according to Ms. Stack.

3. Crisis management. It's crucial for the leader to have a presence in a crisis, and to show all parties he or she is monitoring the situation and actively seeking a solution. No matter how big or small, a crisis will inevitably have an impact on employees, their emotional lives and productivity.

"It doesn't matter whether your organization is negotiating a hostage situation or trying to salvage your biggest account; a wise leader will be present and involved," according to Mr. Marr.

4. Succession training. According to Ms. Stack, succession training is one of the most important responsibilities a leader has. It is up to him or her to understand that no matter how successful he or she is, one day retirement, or unpredictable sicknesses, events or death will necessitate a change in leadership. A successful leader makes it a priority to identify potential successors and actively mentor that person.

"Unless your company's succession plan is written in stone or someone higher up fills the employee slot, find at least one go-getter and groom them to take over, just in case something happens to you," Ms. Stack wrote.

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