The 5 Best Books on Delegation for Inspiring Leaders

The act of delegation is often seen as a way to get things done more efficiently by empowering others to handle certain tasks or projects.

When done correctly, delegation can be an extremely effective tool. However, when done incorrectly, it can lead to frustration and disappointment on both sides.

There are a number of different books that have been written on the topic and in this article, we will take a look at some of the best ones.

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Best books on delegation

1. Delegation & Supervision by Brian Tracy

In his book, Brian Tracy provides readers with a comprehensive guide to delegating tasks and supervising employees effectively.

Tracy covers topics such as how to delegate authority, set clear expectations, and monitor progress.

With practical advice and tips, this book is a valuable resource for helping you to increase productivity and focus on your most important goals.

He outlines the key steps involved in delegating tasks successfully, from defining objectives to establishing clear expectations, before offering guidance on how to overcome common challenges, such as feelings of insecurity or resistance from team members.

Throughout the book, Tracy provides practical advice and real-world examples to illustrate his points.

Pros

  • Tracy covers a lot of ground in this book, providing readers with a comprehensive guide to delegation and supervision.
  • The book is packed with practical advice and tips, making it a valuable resource for anyone new to management.
  • Tracy uses real-world examples to illustrate his points, making the concepts easy to understand.

Cons

  • Some readers may find Tracy’s writing style to be a bit dry.
  • The book does not focus specifically on project management, so readers looking for guidance in this area may be disappointed.

Bottom line

Written by a well-known business figure, Delegation & Supervision is an invaluable introduction for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills.

2. If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have to Do It Yourself! The Power of Effective Delegation by Donna M. Genett

This instructional title provides readers with a comprehensive guide to delegated authority.

Genett begins by outlining the different types of delegation and their benefits, before delving into the process of how to actually do it effectively.

The author emphasizes the importance of setting clear expectations and providing adequate support, in order to ensure that tasks are carried out successfully.

She also discusses the potential pitfalls of delegation, such as when tasks are outsourced to individuals who are not suited to them or when delegators try to micromanage.

Throughout the book, Genett provides utilitarian advice to help readers overcome these challenges.

Pros

  • The book is well organized and easy to read.
  • It provides a comprehensive overview of delegation, including its benefits and challenges.
  • It offers practical advice and tips for delegates and delegators alike.

Cons

  • Some of the advice is common sense and may be obvious to experienced managers.
  • A short read – might not go into the kind of depth some readers want.

Bottom line

The book is a helpful resource for anyone who wants a quickfire guide to the art of delegation.

3. Turn the Ship Around! A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders by L. David Marquet

L. David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around is a powerful case study in effective leadership.

Marquet was tasked with taking over the USS Sante Fe, a nuclear submarine that was ranked at the bottom of its class in terms of performance.

Marquet implemented a number of radical changes to the way the ship was run, including giving control to the crew and empowering them to make decisions.

The results were dramatic – within a year, the Sante Fe had turned around its performance and was ranked as one of the top submarines in the fleet.

Marquet’s book is an important read for anyone interested in leadership or management. He provides a clear and compelling case for why empowering employees leads to better performance.

His writing is accessible and engaging, making it a valuable resource for leaders at all levels.

Pros

  • Turn the ship around is an inspiring story of leadership and management.
  • Marquet provides a clear and compelling case for why employees should be given more responsibility.
  • His writing is accessible and engaging and born from personal experience.

Cons

  • The book does not offer any specific advice or guidance on how to implement Marquet’s methods in other organizations.
  • Might not be appropriate for readers who are unable to relate to the military example.

Bottom line

Turn the Ship Around! is a true story of leadership in action and why working with your subordinates, rather than against them, is the way to go.

4. The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

This is a book about the power of coaching to help people overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

The author, Michael Bungay Stanier, is a seasoned coach himself, and he brings his years of experience to bear in the material.

The book is divided into three parts: the first part covers the basics of coaching, the second part explores the seven essential coaching questions, and the third part offers advice on how to put the coaching habit into practice.

Throughout the book, Stanier provides helpful tips and real-world examples to illustrate his points, while offering a number of helpful exercises that readers can use to hone their coaching skills.

All in all, The Coaching Habit is an insightful and practical guide that will be of immense value for anyone facilitating employee growth.

Pros

  • The book is a well-written and comprehensive guide to coaching.
  • It includes a number of insightful techniques to bring the best out of your team.
  • It is suitable for readers of all levels of experience.

Cons

  • Some readers may find the book’s focus on coaching questions to be limiting.
  • The exercises might not be suitable for all readers.

Bottom line

The Coaching Habit is a new style of management in which organizations promote the growth and development of their teams for improved wellbeing and productivity.

5. Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz

In Clockwork, Mike Michalowicz tells the story of his search for the perfect work-life balance.

He chronicles his journey from being a workaholic entrepreneur to a more balanced individual who values family and personal time as much as professional success.

Michalowicz is open and honest about his own struggles with stress and burnout, and offers readers practical advice for achieving a more sustainable lifestyle.

The book is divided into four sections: “The Case for a Better Work-Life Balance,” “The Tools of Time Management,” “Putting It All Together,” and “The Clockwork Lifestyle.”

In each section, Michalowicz provides actionable tips for simplifying one’s schedule and creating more margin in one’s life.

He also shares inspiring stories of individuals who have been able to achieve success without sacrificing their health or relationships.

Clockwork is an informative and useful guide for anyone seeking to create a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle.

Pros

  • Clockwork is an informative and useful guide for anyone seeking to create a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle.
  • The book is well-structured, with each section covering a different aspect of time management.
  • Michalowicz is transparent about his own journey from workaholism to wellbeing.

Cons

  • Some readers may find the book’s focus on time management to be limiting.
  • The book does not offer a step-by-step guide for implementing the strategies it discusses.

Bottom line

Clockwork is a helpful resource for anyone looking to create a more balanced and sustainable lifestyle.

Summary

Delegation is an essential skill to learn for anyone looking to make professional inroads into management or leadership positions.

Learning how to distribute tasks effectively according to individual strengths allows you to multiply the effort of the team and create a kind of compound effect that skyrockets an organization.

The book recommendations above will teach you how.