As a leader, how do you delegate responsibilities to team members?

This is my take on a question asked on a leadership Q&A page.

What makes this question interesting is that it's asked from a leader's perspective, not a manager's.

So for our answer, we will eliminate every way that uses authority, hierarchy, or implies "do it because it's your job!"

True leaders don't delegate responsibilities they don't want to have. If that's the case, the team member will feel uninspired by the duty.

No. To motivate someone to assume responsibility, leaders communicate the importance of it. They make it clear why they think the individual is the right person for the job.

Leaders understand that delegating to the right individual, a person who's capable, is a formidable opportunity to help them grow.

The team will have a stronger member, energized and fully reengaged.

To maximize involvement, the leader consults with the team member early in the process. They look at the task together to define the scope, metrics, milestones, and desired outcome.

The leader addresses the person's concerns and gives the boost of confidence sometimes required to take on new challenges.

They don't merely drop the news and let the team member figure it out.

To delegate responsibilities as a leader, be strategic about it. Assign duties to the right people at the right moment. Involve the team members early on. Show them that they are capable and that you believe in them. Then make sure they turn the opportunity into a success by assisting them all the way.

Because delegating like a leader is delegating with both the organization's and the team member's successes in mind.