It is the act of empowering to act for another. In other words, you are creating another you. In leadership it is an essential skill to not only be able to multi task and multi project, but it’s also an important skill in order to grow your personnel and your organization. Let’s face it, there is never enough time to get everything done all by yourself, so first you must prioritize what needs to be done, what’s most important and what you need to involve yourself in.
Everything else needs some level of delegation. Remember, the definition said empowering. That’s give someone the authority and the resources to accomplish a task or project. It did not say micromanage or direct someone. So how do you do it? Try following these tips: 1. Delegate the whole task to one person – full responsibility and authority must be accorded. Without it, you lose accountability and the chance for future growth. 2. Pick the right person – do they have the skills, training, motivation? If not, can you provide it or do you need to pick someone else? 3. Map out the end result – What should be accomplished, why it’s important, when it should be finished, what resources are available, who is available to help. 4. Don’t delegate the method – For growth to occur, let your person work out “how” they will accomplish the task or project. This is essential, don’t micromanage. DON’T MICROMANAGE. 5. Get a written action plan – put in writing what you want the result to be, who is helping, who is responsible for what, when you will check on the progress, etc. If it isn’t in writing, again, you lose the accountability and the opportunity for growth. 6. Do what you said you will – when the action plan calls for a meeting to check for progress, have that meeting. When you offered certain resources, follow through on making them available as well as the people you said would help. Amazingly, this is where most leaders fail in their delegation. 7. Keep lines of communication open – if you are not satisfied with the progress, don’t first look for another person. Together, figure out what the problem is, rework the action plan, remind them of the importance to them and the organization, encourage them and stay available if they need your advice. 8. Evaluate and Reward – an honest and open talk about the project including how they did in all phases. Keep it about the desired results rather than about the method they used. And reward them accordingly for the job they did. Remember you will have many opportunities for delegation in the future so let them know their value and thank them for their efforts. So it turns out delegation requires some work on your part huh? It sure does and every step needs attention to it. But for the greater good of your team, your organization and for the opportunity for individual growth for your personnel, it is worth it. And may I just add, it’s an essential skill that every leader must work to attain. It’s for your growth too.