Learn to delegate effectively
I have chaired a lot of committees in my time and been the president of various corporations and organizations. Often I am in those situations because I am better suited to working on the vision of an organization - it has given me the opportunity to study when delegation works and when it doesn’t.
What makes delegation work?
Here are 5 principles of delegation that may help you approach your next task a little differently.
1. Don’t simply be the BOSS. The first and most common mistake (particularly with junior leaders) is to simply boss someone around and assume it is delegation. Delegation infers a task to be completed. The other day I witnessed a young leader tell someone to go over to a building and tell the guy in there to come and speak to him, he wanted a meeting. The delegated person ran across the courtyard to the office on the other side and asked the gentleman to come and speak to his boss. The answer? You guessed it... “Why should I go over there, tell him to come over here.” This situation could be referred to as nouveau leadership. Someone flexing their muscles, but instead of delegating effectively, the initiator just wasted three people’s time. Make sure that in delegating you are effectively moving a situation forward.
2. When you delegate the task, ask yourself a simple question. Is it a critical task? If it is, you should likely be involved. Don’t be lazy. Some projects are projects you need to have a firm hand on.
3. Will the person you are delegating to benefit from the task. If you are a leader, you should be concerned about developing leaders. If that's the case, see if you have the opportunity to help one of your staff or colleagues move out of their comfort zone a little. Mentor them even though you have charged them with a task.
4. Is there someone in your organization with a skill set more adapted to the task than you? If you have a specialist, give them free reign to complete a project for you. Use their talent, that is why they are there.
5. Can you do something more productive while the task is being delegated? This is what the Army calls concurrent tasks and is the most beneficial facet of delegation. If someone can do what you were going to do, you can be free to focus your strengths on something more important.
So stop “bossing” people around and start leading them. Your organization will benefit tremendously.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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