Great managers are great delegators. Look at any of the great managers that you admire – mine would include Richard Branson among others – and they are all great delegators.
Delegation is not something that some of us are naturals at and others aren’t. Actually, I believe that delegation is not naturally comfortable to any of us as it requires us to do something we all hate – acceding control to others.
When we become a manager we have to learn for the first time that our results are going to be achieved THROUGH others. This is pretty difficult to het your head around when we have been used to doing it all ourselves.
So, why do we need to get better at delegating?
Quite simply, if we want to be an effective manager we need to get a handle on this aspect of management. The alternative is drowning in a mountain of tasks that need to be done and not being able to get the things done that need to be done.
The result? You disappoint everyone. You do not deliver on time to your peers or your own team which frustrates and disappoints everyone. You get the name and reputation of a non deliverer – not exactly the reputation you want.
So, how can you get better at delegating?
- Check your mindset. I’m serious – you need to do this. Is your mindset one of “I can do this better/quicker myself” If it is, then banish that mindset for once and for all. It serves you not at all! Switch it to a mindset of “who else should be doing this?”
- Review your own job description. Why? So that you are crystal clear what are the tasks that YOU and only YOU must do. By definition the rest should be done by others.
- Invest time in those you delegate to. You must be clear about exactly what it is you want them to do. If you need to train your people to take on what you are delegating, you must put in the time – there are not shortcuts. They will respond, I promise you.
- Let go! When you have delegated it, let it go. Don’t interfere. Agree the milestones if necessary, but after that leave them to it. They will do it differently to you. Just accept that as a fact, and get used to it!
- Check each item that crosses your desk and decide – do you need to do it, or can someone else do it? If someone else can do it, then pass it on.
So, how good are you at delegating? What has been your experience at delegating? Good? Easy? Tough? Share your comments below.
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