Dave Ramsey explained to his kids that the more they kept their word and the more he observed them making great decisions, the more freedom they would have. He used a great analogy to get his point across:
He told them to visualize that he has a rope attached to them, and the more trustworthy they prove themselves to be, the more he would lengthen the rope. If they lied or exhibited bad peer based decision making, the rope would get shorter. The more trust they built, the longer the rope and the more freedom they would have.
The same goes for delegation within a company. The Magic formula for determining how much rope you can delegate to someone should be based on a persons level of integrity and competency.
The word integrity comes from the root word "integer." An integer is a mathematic term from grade school; an integer is any whole number. A number that has no fraction. Integrity, is truly a life lived with wholeness, completeness. Integrity is being true to ones self, all the time. Acting differently based on the crowd or the occasion is fractured, not whole, lacking integrity. A person with integrity earns the right to delegation when there is no doubt what type of decisions they will make. They are consistent all the time.
Competency is more than just the simple ability to accomplish a task. Competency involves how the task is accomplished. There is no better way to trust someone's competency than to walk with them as they display their knowledge and abilities. Don't toss them the keys the first day. Work with them until they are ready to drive off without you.
Ronald Reagan said, "Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority and don't interfere."
As an Entreleader, you should never just throw the whole rope at someone. You should work with them as they increase their level of integrity and competency. As their levels increase, you can give them more rope.