Building a business from the ground up is difficult. Not only is it a huge leap of faith, but it also constantly demands your undivided attention, time, and resources. Much like a newborn child, your startup business needs you 24/7 to grow the way you wanted it to.

Delegating tasks is something that every leader or manager should know about and consider. Handling startups can be messy. In the early stages, you’re most likely handling everything from sales, marketing, logistics, and administrative tasks. And, the mountain of responsibilities continues to pile up as your continue to grow in the business world.

This is where the concept of task delegation and delegative leadership comes in.

What is Delegative Leadership?

It is a style of leadership that encourages team members to actively participate in the decision-making process in the business. In a sense, the primary person of authority, whether it is the business owner, the CEO, or the manager takes a significant step back and opens the floor for employees to practice their expertise in their specific fields. 

The key points to understand in delegative leadership are that:

  • The leader takes a supporting role.
  • The leader is still responsible for what their team members do.
  • Team members are expected to have the ability to solve problems on their own.
  • Team members are given the freedom to make decisions surrounding their tasks. 

Advantages of Delegative Leadership

Encourages employees autonomy 

Man with a watch checking data and charts on laptop
Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Autonomy means there would be minimal guidance and the employee has the full reign over their projects. Through this form of work setup, those supposed experts in their field get to work independently and practice what they know without having to deal with other people’s unwanted opinions or unwarranted suggestions.

Sharpens the employee’s skill

Delegative leadership promotes individuality and independence. Taking this into consideration, employees are put in the position to exercise and develop their knowledge and skills to produce quality output one after the other. 

Improves employee’s feelings of satisfaction

Manager talking to team in meeting
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Employees under a delegative style of leadership tend to feel more satisfied since they are personally credited for their work. With this system, individual contributions are well-acknowledged and valued knowing that no one else in the team has the skill and expertise to do what they do. It also exudes feelings of trust between team members and leaders.


Disadvantages of Delegative Leadership

Heavy burden on the employees

Photo by from Pexels

One of the most prominent risks when adopting a delegative style of leadership is that the company relies heavily on its employees. This involves employee motivation, productivity, determination, as well as attitude and personality.

Delegative leadership primarily works with teams consisting of already experienced members. Where there is no need for round-the-clock supervision to check on their progress. When this fails, the trust system that delegative leadership relies on can easily crumble. 

Prone to confusion

Another disadvantage of delegative leadership is the sense of autonomy and individuality can often lead to confusion among members of the team. Although they don’t directly work together, their goal is the same. However, team members may have different methods of reaching that goal. When this happens, it can be difficult to bring everyone and attempt to cohesively work together.  

Effective tools for task delegation

  • Timecamp – simple software for automatic work tracking for every work day.
  • Casual – provides an option for visual workflow creation.
  • Todoist – a comprehensive task management tool that provides a clear way to find assigned tasks.


Delegative leadership offers freedom to both leaders and team members. However, leaders should understand the difference between delegative leadership and completely losing control over their team members’ overall output and performance. ‘

If you want to know more about effective leadership strategies, Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up to our newsletter. If you prefer something more personal, we also offer a free 30-minute consultation.