Delegative Leadership Style

By Your Query Staff

Published on December 17, 2021
Updated on January 27, 2022

Are you familiar with the concept of delegative leadership style? Likewise, can you guess the outcome, if you implement this style in your company? Well, here we are to deliver the required answers to these questions. After that, you will have a strong grab on this topic. Besides, you can accurately implement this style in your organization, provided that you find it workable.

However, the concept of delegative leadership was first introduced by Warren Bennie in the book "Bennie’s on Leadership". According to this theory, this type of leadership is said to be less authoritarian and more flexible. Now, we are coming with a detailed discussion in the following lines. So, let's jump to the next phases.

Delegative Leadership Definition

Now, we may start the journey by putting light on the definition of delegative leadership style. In true meaning, delegative leadership is a leadership style in which managers delegate work to their subordinates. Likewise, the delegative leaders allow their employees to use their own judgment and make decisions without having to go through them.

In other words, delegative leadership is a process that helps leaders to delegate tasks and responsibilities, in which leaders allow employees to make decisions. It helps keep an organization focused on achieving goals. Here, the employees are the delegative people who can best determine whether it’s time for action. The delegative leadership style is the new way of running a successful business.

However, it is more effective, efficient, and realistic than the traditional leadership style. Here, the leaders can maximize the ability to engage and empower employees. Thus, it simultaneously enriches their focus on the critical priorities in their areas of influence. In fact, it can be achieved by delegating authority, responsibility, and accountability to employees at all levels of the organization.


Delegative Leadership Style

Delegative Leadership Characteristics

In an increasingly complex and unpredictable world, leadership is not a matter of choice or instinct but rather a skill to be learned. Disciplined followership requires the ability to build and maintain strong relationships with people at all levels. With this in mind, it’s important for leaders to understand the characteristics of delegative leadership so they can take advantage of it when appropriate.

As a leader, it is your job to manage your team’s performance. You must be able to articulate what you want them to do and lead them towards that goal. However, this means you must also understand how to delegate the work. So, they can get the most out of their time on the job. This article will provide details on delegative leadership characteristics. A leader who is not afraid to delegate can achieve results faster and achieve the goals of the organization. Delegative leadership is a process that involves delegating responsibilities and tasks to employees in order to help them get the work done. Although it may sound simple, it’s not easy for many leaders to let go of their direct control over subordinates.

•    Confidence:

In a world of uncertainty, confidence is a core character of delegative leadership style. Delegative leaders are likely to be more confident in the decisions they make and have fewer doubts about their skills or abilities than their direct reports. It is easier for them to delegate tasks and then trust others to carry out their work.

According to a leading researcher at Georgetown University and the author of the book "The Confidence Code," delegative leadership styles are characterized by confidence. This type of leadership is characterized by leaders who are decisive, assertive, and confident in making decisions.

•    Positivity:

It is a really exigent part as a characteristic of this leadership style. Many researchers have found positivity a key character that plays a crucial role in determining the success of teams. Recently, new research investigates whether the presence of positive emotions affects how delegative leaders influence their subordinates' behaviors.

The results suggest that delegative leaders who experience positive emotions have more positive effects on their subordinates' behaviors than delegative leaders who do not experience such emotions.

•    Sense of Humor:

Being delegative means delegating your responsibilities to other people. The main characteristic of this leadership style is a sense of humor. How does it work? In delegative leadership, you want to share the responsibility for the achievement of the goals with other people, and a sense of humor is a way to communicate this message.

However, successful leaders understand the importance of a strong sense of humor. They know that a person, who is always in good spirits, jokes, and treats everyone with kindness and respect, can inspire trust and create more fun within the team. Moreover, people who work for them will be inspired to perform better.

•    Passion:

The nature of delegation is to make your leadership style flexible. And delegative leadership style focuses on the employee’s passion, interest, and ability. It is a leadership style that allows you to adapt to changing circumstances. Likewise, it helps you build a team of employees.

Most importantly, these people will have all the relevant skills necessary for your business to succeed. You know what; the passionate employees remain proactive try heart and soul to achieve the organizational goal.

•    Creativity:

Creativity, in the sense of creating something new, is a key to delegative leadership. But, there is a problem. Most leaders fail to see their own creativity and may not know how they can inspire it in others. In fact, leaders can leverage this approach to create innovative projects and strategies.

You know what; delegative leadership, or delegation with creativity, is a leadership style that involves decision-making authority and responsibility being shared among different team members. This is the opposite of authoritative leadership. However, no matter how you choose to lead, creativity is an important trait of delegative leadership.


•    Inspiration:

Now, at this point, we must be familiar with another crucial characteristic of delegative leadership. You know what; it is such a style of leadership that encourages alliance and empowerment of subordinates. It means delegating tasks to your employees, entitling authority to make decisions.

Moreover, the leaders trust their employees completely to do so. In fact, this delegation can be on an individual or group level. It's not just about delegating tasks - delegative leaders guide their employees and inspire them to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Delegative Leadership Advantages and Disadvantages

Delegative leadership is all about delegation and trust. It is not a role that should be taken lightly. But, it can have huge benefits for the individual who wants to build a business or make a change. Truly, it is not always the most popular management style, but the payoffs can be great. For a long time, there have been complaints about the way delegative leadership is handled in a business.

There are those who say that it does not work and that delegation is not effective. Yet, there are others who claim that delegative leadership style has many advantages and can be successfully applied to achieve great results. Here, we will discuss these two sides of the story. In addition, we will provide true insight into it to make your delegative leadership plans work.


•    Highlighting The Expertise:

This style emphasizes understanding what your team members can do and then empowering them to be their best. For obvious reasons, the delegative leaders trust their team to make the right decisions. In addition, these people are also willing to play a critical role in helping others see the problem from a different perspective.

A study published in the Journal of Management shows that delegative leadership styles result in better performance for employees. The study focused on managers who worked in an open office space. Besides, they were given some authority to delegate work to their employees. It showed that those managers who delegated more work to their employees saw a significant increase in team performance.

•    Knowing The Ways Of Back Away:

Delegative leaders know when to back away. They do not want to take over a project or responsibility on what they are beyond actual qualification. Delegative leaders give authority back to the person they are accountable to, in most cases the manager, if they feel they can’t complete the task on their own.

Although delegating work can be a good thing for your business, you must know when to back away. As it is, the economy is experiencing some major changes, and it’s likely that this is going to affect businesses in the near future. However, you should know when to step back and let someone else take over.

•    Creating Satisfaction:

A study from the University of British Columbia has been conducted on the relationship between satisfaction and performance of employees.  Here, it shows that employees who work under delegative leadership report greater satisfaction with their jobs. They find their leader as a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Additionally, it increases the probability of building work relationships. Thus, the researchers have found that delegative leadership is positively correlated with employee satisfaction and job satisfaction.

•    Using Skills Strategically:

Delegative leaders have skills and talents that are needed by their teams. They have the ability to delegate tasks, help others achieve goals, and work collaboratively with them to achieve objectives. They share power, communicate clearly, and involve everyone in decisions.

You know what; sharing the power and authority requires tactful action. Obviously, the delegative leaders are very smart in using their skills. They delegate that authority with a plan.


•    Taking Background Role:

This leadership style, in other words, is also known as a hands-off or executive coach style. It allows executives to focus on the big picture and leave the details to their team. Delegative leaders give up control of their projects, leaving that responsibility to their teams.

Actually, it takes a background role on projects. Sometimes, it can create a ruckus among the employees. Without the active role of the leader, the company can remain far away from achieving the goal. Authoritarian Leadership style takes exactly the reverse stantpoint of Delegative leadership style.

•    Being Unconcerned About Cohesiveness:

It is a major disadvantage of delegative leadership. Cohesiveness is the glue that holds a team together. If you have no concern for cohesiveness, then you are unaware of how to maintain your team’s ability to work together as a group.

You know what; it is important to focus on cohesion and how to create an environment where employees can grow and flourish. Otherwise, the expected performance will not come from employees.

•    Avoiding Responsibilities:

It is a big disadvantage of delegative leadership. In fact, the leader does not take ownership of those tasks and expects them to complete them well. However, this form of leadership comes with its share of challenges. Especially, you consider that those who perform the delegated tasks are not always accountable for the outcomes.

When the leaders have delegated their responsibilities to a team member, the first thing that comes to mind is: “Now they are free.” But if they are not careful, this freedom could come at a price.

Delegative Leadership Examples

In the world of business, we can observe several cases of delegative leadership. Firstly, we can name Robert Noyce, the founder of Intel. You know what; this organization implements a hands-off management style.

Here, the leader of this company gives authority to employees in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Therefore, Intel is a superb example of how delegative leadership can craft a pathway to significant success.  In fact, this style is really effective for research and development-focused organizations.

Secondly, the name comes is Andrew Mellon, a great businessman of US-based company. In his company, the basis of core operation was crafted on putting trust in management. Here, the leader has set an efficient, motivated, and effective workforce that can be relied upon.


With confidence, we can state that delegative leadership style is workable and popular. Most importantly, it involves giving power to subordinates, rather than taking it. That is why; it has gained popularity with employees in recent years. Likewise, the practice of this leadership can bring positive outcomes for the organization.
In fact, we can name several benefits of delegative leadership include. For instance, it creates more open communication between leaders and subordinates. Besides, this style brings greater motivation among subordinates. So, the leaders may take this pathway in operating the business.