To reinforce their delegation efforts, many managers deputize a staff member to monitor due dates and key deliverables on their behalf so things don't fall through the cracks. They also incorporate follow-ups on major initiatives into regular team staff meetings and create metrics that help the team know if things are on track. In the process they create a positive peer pressure within the team, since staff members don't want to have to present an update to their peers that shows an important priority falling behind schedule.
It's important to realize that other people won't do things exactly the same way you would. Challenge yourself to distinguish between the style in which direct reports approach tasks and the quality of the results. As you delegate more and coach those who need it, test whether you have been successful in expanding people's skills so they can operate more autonomously and whether you've made a fundamental change in how you're spending your time and energy. If the answer is yes, you have succeeded on several fronts. You've increased the organizational capability of your group, and you've demonstrated the bandwidth to take on a broader range of responsibilities, a win-win for your team and your career advancement.
John Beeson is Principal of Beeson Consulting, a management consulting firm specializing in succession planning, executive assessment and coaching, and organization design. He is also the author of The Unwritten Rules: The Six Skills You Need to Get Promoted to the Executive Level. Follow him on Twitter @johnrbeeson. This article was modified slightly from its appearance as part of the Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network at blogs.hbr.org.