The Difference Between Delegating and Dictating

3The Boss. The guy that points at things like some fascist dictator and yells and berates.

Or…the boss. The cool guy who you happen to work for who has a steady hand and asks you to do things.

See the difference?

Sure, every boss needs to show they are in charge. If not, they run the risk of being ignored.

But at the same time, you don’t have to be the kind of boss that makes more enemies than happy employees.

It’s an old adage at this point, but a happy worker is a productive worker. It is best to take heed of this.

True, you can DICTATE what you want done and rule with an iron fist. But be prepared for a high level of turnover and a lackluster performance from your employees.

The other option is to delegate work, to give it to employees you can trust and to make them feel like they have inherited a real responsibility.

Delegating implies that the work is important, but you don’t necessarily have time to do it yourself (even if that isn’t true).

True delegation leads to a greater appreciation of you as a human being and a bond of trust. The employee feels you believe in them, and in their competence to get something done.


Dictating on the other hand will only build resentment and cause scheming and a possible mutiny. This doesn’t mean your team will violently rise up and literally steal your company from beneath you (though it has been known to happen).

Instead it could be a calculated way of decreasing production and losing you money.

It’s better to have a soft, but strong hand than to have an iron fist. One is warm and inviting, while the other is cold and hard.

Which hand would you rather shake?

5-aVs. 5-b