The biggest challenge for most people when delegating to others is that they don’t trust their subordinates on a fundamental level.
The inability to delegate is not a leadership problem, it is actually only a symptom of a larger leadership problem: the absence of trust and confidence.
Who is responsible for building that trust?
If your thought is that they have to “prove” themselves, you are shirking your responsibility of creating that trust.
In a more straightforward statement…
Leaders are responsible for creating a climate of trust specifically as a side effect of a healthy group culture.
So, the first point of failure is a misguided complacency and the misconception of “I hold the power, they need to please me.”
The second point of failure is that leaders often assign responsibilities, but don’t convey the formal authority to successfully perform the tasks.
Let me point out two ways this goes wrong.
First, imagine that if someone comes up to you and tells you to do something and that person has no authority over you or your job, your first thought will be “I don’t work for you.” In all fairness, that would be the correct response. That person would be an intruder encroaching on your time and priorities; circumventing any chain of authority. It blurs organizational lines.
Second, this kind of laissez faire activity will, over time, ruin your company culture and organizational health because it puts the employees’ relationships in conflict.
The responsibility lies with you, the leader, to nurture an environment of trust by removing avoidable conflicts that will cause failure on the individual level and disgruntlement at the group level.