How To Delegate Effectively
Nightingale Success is a weekly newsletter offered by Nightingale/Conant. In the most recent issue Tom Gegax lists 10 Directives for Delegation that hit home with me. I agree with his statement: ?Too often leaders who lack the time to think strategically don?t use the full potential of their employees. People who think they can do it better if they do it themselves, or feel they might lose control if they delegate, create more problems than they solve.?
A key piece of the puzzle of leading a championship support team is to learn to delegate effectively so that more of the detail tasks come off your plate, and the crises don?t occur as often. Then strategic planning can take its rightful place as an important use of your time at the helm of your business since effective delegation frees you up for more important pursuits that can raise profits.
Here are his 10 Directives for Delegation with my observations.
1. Transfer Ownership ? Be very clear that you have relinquished ownership, that the monkey is on their back not yours any more.
2. Tell Why ? Explain to employees why they are being asked to take on the assigned task ? it cultivates support, confidence and initiative.
3. Get the Wheels Turning ? Mentor or coach the delegate to develop an effective action plan, e.g. ask good questions or leading questions.
4. Set Deadlines ? A goal without a deadline is only a dream. Agree to a firm deadline to avoid this task slipping to the bottom of the employee?s priority list.
5. Ask for a ReCap ? Always double check, never assume perfect understanding. You may need to do this multiple times as the project unfolds.
6. Monitor ? But Don?t Smother ? When you delegate you have to let go, so don?t defeat the purpose by micromanaging unless absolutely necessary (e.g. new employee, critical path factors).
7. No Take-Backs ? This is hardest for the leader who knows how to do the task in his sleep. The opportunity, when the first signs of trouble appear, is to patiently coach your employee back on track rather than usurping the project yourself.
8. Play to the Employee?s Strong Suit ? Tailor assignments to people?s strengths. Know who is a big-picture thinker and know who is superb with the details.
9. Don?t Duplicate ? When you delegate, don?t overlap assigned tasks. If two or more people are involved state clearly, up front, who?s in charge.
10. Distribute Evenly ? This takes some forethought, but you will build a stronger championship team if you delegate some of these challenges to promising less-tested people and not just rely on your star employees.
About the Author: Kerri Salls, MBA runs a virtual business school to train, consult and coach small business CEO's and entrepreneurs in 10 key strategies to make more profit in less time. Learn more at http://www.breakthrough-business-school.com/products.html or sign up for a free weekly newsletter at http://www.breakthrough-business-school.com/newsletter.shtml