Are you hoarding the Friskies or sharing them? A primer in delegating leadership

Jen Coken
6 min readMay 2

Let’s get you up to speed in case you’ve not been following along. Situational leadership is critical to your team’s success. (Full stop.) There are four types of situational leaders: visionary, coaching, delegating, and directive. Meow, the name of the game in this blog post is delegating leadership, which is likened to herding cats.

Cats are highly independent, autonomous creatures but they still require a firm and guiding hand. Take my cat, Kevin, for instance. I got him an automatic feeder so he wasn’t dependent on me for every meal.

I schedule it to put food in his bowl three times a day, and he can choose whether he wants to gobble it all up at once or graze throughout the day. That gives him the autonomy to chart his destiny, but I did have to make the right resources available to him and set up a system whereby he could be successful, I could reduce my involvement, and the end result is still what we both need.

Determine if you’re delegating or hoarding work

Cats aside, the question I want you to ask yourself is this: Am I delegating enough Friskies to my team OR am I hoarding the chicken and giblets thinking I’m saving them from themselves (all while I keep the control I think I’m supposed to have)? There’s no right answer really, just an honest one. In reality, sometimes we need to hoard and other times we need to delegate.

But if you’re hoarding all the time, I’m going to ask you to put the Friskies down and walk away slowly.

In other words, if you’re trying to do everything yourself; have your hand in every aspect of your team’s work; and believe this is the only way to be successful, you’re going to have one hell of a belly ache. This approach will lead to burnout and hinder your team’s progress.

Delegating leadership enters from behind the scratching post. Scene left.

Defining delegating leadership and tips for doing it well

Delegating leadership involves assigning tasks and responsibilities to the people on your team; empowering them to take ownership of their roles; and actively freeing up your time and…

Jen Coken

Executive Coach. Keynote Speaker/Trainer. Best Selling Author