Good Delegation is Leadership

By delegating properly, you empower your organization as you reduce your own burdens.

Delegation (asking someone else to do something) is powerful. It increases your productivity and the productivity of your organization. When you delegate effectively, you lead: you empower a person to learn new skills and accomplish things that bring them more job satisfaction. You manage better, they follow better, you cease to be a bottleneck to progress, the team moves faster, and everyone is happier.

Some people hesitate to delegate for good reasons. Fortunately, a good delegation system eliminates the problems and makes it easy and effective. Typical reasons are:

Fuzzy Delegation

Practice “fuzzy” or “agile” delegation and watch your employees grow and your burdens melt away. It’s amazing, and you can start right this minute.

  • “They don’t have the skills to do a good job” or “they won’t do it right.” These are the most common concerns. Fortunately, the answer is the same for both, and it’s fun. The solution: “fuzzy” or “agile” delegation. The rules are simple:
    • Give them good information up front. Tell them what you know so they don’t spin their wheels. Do it in a way that you both see the details of the assignment.
    • Ask them to work and return with questions by [near date]. They should work on it as best they can and gather all the questions and issues they have. They must work on it, they must not allow questions to stop them, but they should spend time learning if needed. Then they must report back in a short timeframe.
    • It must never be perfect the first time. Perfection is costly and paralyzing. Instead, work fast, then review the partially-completed work together, see how close it is and what was learned, resolve issues, then send them back for a second pass at it.
    • Expect three or four rounds before it is good enough. Each round should be better than the last.
    • Get the work out there and see how it is received. When it’s good enough (“version 1”), get it out there in the real world to see how it is received (by co-workers, management, customers). Learn from their feedback, and start an improvement cycle all over again.
    • “I’ll lose sight of the task.” With TRO or a good delegation management tool, this problem disappears. Every assignment OUT becomes a Waiting For IN your lists, ready to remind you to follow up at the right time.
    • “They will forget or lose track of it.” Your Waiting For steps (follow-up) combined with a regular 1-1 meeting to review progress will stop this.