In yesterday’s post, How To Win At Delegation, I talked about how both you and the person you’re delegating to need to be mature enough for the process to work. If either of you has the maturity of Charlie Sheen, you’re probably in trouble … But hey, at least you’re “WINNING!”
Today, I continue the discussion with a couple of concepts every leader should understand before delegating.
- What’s your end game? – A common mistake many leaders make is delegating tasks. The problem with this concept is you don’t really get any buy-in from the person. What you get is someone who will basically only do what you’ve asked of them. In an upcoming EntreLeadership Podcast interview with Stephen M.R. Covey, he explains the importance of delegating RESULTS, not tasks. This way, the team member takes ownership and is working with the end in mind instead of just the next thing on the list to accomplish.
- Become a waiter – The most important piece of delegation is being there to serve the person to whom you delegated. It’s a safe bet that you will always hear me say, “It is every leader’s job to make their team successful, especially when delegating.” You have to make sure they have every question answered; have all the tools necessary to complete the task; and consistently check with them, making sure they completely understand what the task is and if they have any more questions. Immature leaders hear this and say, “Shoot, I might as well just do it myself.” Yes, if you plan on spending the rest of your days growing your business at the speed of smell.
- More please (said in a British accent) – As they begin to show you how well they are doing with the process, start lengthening the rope of responsibility and authority. Allow your team to make the necessary decisions to complete the project. If you give someone the responsibility (e.g., put their neck on the line) but don’t give them the authority to make the decisions needed to be successful, then you’ll have a completely demoralized team member who doesn’t want to take risks for you ever again.
Along the way, be sure to ask their thoughts and ideas for the task. Then, you can gauge their progress and how much input is needed. Who knows? They might say something you didn’t think of.
By the way, these tips can ALL be done with your kids if you’re a parent!
Question: What have you done to make the delegation process successful?
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12 thoughts on “Part Two Of How To Win At Delegation”
I loved this two part post on delegation! I can’t wait to hear Stephen M. R. Covey’s interview on the next podcast! One question I have is how do you know how much authority to give an employee on a project? (said in an American accent)
That’s a letting out of the rope…thing. You have to see how far along they are, then let out more. Make sense? (said in a Jamaican accent)
Got it. Thanks!
I think much of the trouble with delegating is that so often we don’t trust ourselves enough to let go to allow others to do what they need to do. The first step of delegation is to believe in our own abilities enough to let go.
Absolutely. That trust comes as we mature.
‘delegating results not tasks’ – thanks for this, that line has just totally revamped how i view delegation
Yeah, it was a breath of fresh air when he said it.
It is true that while delegating the leader takes a risk. There is chance of both failure and success. In a function, a leader would normally be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his team members. A leader should be able to delegate the work in such a way so that the concerned team member is able to play his strength and also, at the same time, move out of his comfort zone.
Not in answer to your question, but i like your explantion of why we need to delegate, in case we ever had any doubts. I suspect “growing your business at the speed of smell” is bound to take forever, in other words, if we are to succeed at home, in the workplace, we have to delegate and do it effectively. Good stuff!
Hahaha…yes, speed of smell is slow. 🙂
We have just hired three new team members and I am so excited about being a “leader” this year, instead of just assigning tasks. Two team members are learning fast and completing their work very competently. However, I am concerned that one person we hired is very slow at her work, and seems to be doing as little as possible to get by. I don’t feel comfortable leaving her alone to work yet. She is a ‘s’ personality, so it may be that she is still uncomfortable in her environment and needs more time. At what point do I address this, she has to be able to work alone at some time!
Address it now. Communicate early and often. Open it up and ask her why she thinks she’s not up to speed.