Dirty Delegation

Finzel, Hans. The Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make. Colorado: Nexgen, 2000

Chapter 6: Dirty Delegation: Refusing to Relax and Let Go.


This whole concept of being in charge is determining the difference between being a good or bad leader. The distinction between the two rests in the realm of delegation. A leader can frustrate those around them simply by saying one thing and then doing something else. The author calls it “Dirty Delegation.” When delegating, the leader should leave it alone from the point that the information went out. The responsibility needs to take place in two areas.


The first area of responsibility rests with the leader and the second with the follower. Finzel points out four areas the leader delegating is responsible for. Those areas deal with the task, influence, answerability, and confirmation. The next responsibility lies with the follower. The four areas are knowing what they should do, freedom to perform the task, help when needed, and evaluation. The alternative to dirty delegation is “clean delegation” (p. 112).

The main areas for this type of leadership are first found in a person’s belief in the individual assigned to the job. Then the individual needs to be given permission to do it. After that is done the leader needs to relax and know that it will likely be done another way. Once that happens, serenity needs to be fostered in the leader’s life. Lastly, the leader needs to be on the look out for other leaders for future jobs.


I have seen leaders do a filthy job at tasking others to do certain jobs. I had come to expect it done in the military, but never much expected it to happen in the church. The same pastor I served with that I mentioned in the analysis of a dictator did this all the time. As I was reading this chapter, images continued to race through my mind of when I saw this happen. It didn’t seem to bad when I would see it happen to others, but when he started to do it to me then it got personal.

This idea of not over managing can be challenging for some, but it shouldn’t be. It especially shouldn’t be for those leaders in the church who are truly leading like Jesus. I think this problem arises when the leader is a control freak. Unfortunately, for followers under this type of leadership may never get the privilege of serving under a true leader. It is joy to follow good leader who places their trust in others.

What I Have Learned:

I have learned some great guidelines to follow, as I will lead so that I don’t delegate and make a mess of things.


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