“Just Do It” doesn’t always fit. Frequently, we ask ourselves what we can do to solve this challenge we face sometimes all too often. We don’t need to be the superhero of the office. Delegation may be just the answer.
Delegation must be done with considerable thought. There are many things to think about and evaluate when delegating any task or function to other(s). There are many pros and cons to delegation, but I think the benefits outweigh the risks every time. In my book it’s “ win-win” every time if it’s done correctly. Keep the pointers below in mind when delegating and use them as a checklist once you have delegated – just to make sure you are staying on track.
- By delegating you free yourself up for other tasks, while at the same time give other(s) the chance to grow and hone their skills.
- Once you have made the decision to delegate begin by evaluating exactly what you will delegate. Is it the whole project or pieces of it? To what degree will I give other(s) the responsibility, authority, and accountability to get the job done?
- Now it’s time to evaluate to whom you will delegate. Is it one person to take the lead or should it be divided amongst a team of individuals? Do they have the experience, skills, and resources necessary or is this something where they will grow as a result of this assignment?
- Next up: Delegate. Give them the task you need accomplished. Clearly define the results you need. Make sure they understand the level of authority you are giving them. Ensure they have the proper resources and time to tackle the project. Provide adequate support, but don’t “smother” them.
- Agree up timelines and “checkpoints”. Schedule times when you will need updates on where they are at with the work. Make certain they understand you are always Saville for any unforeseen or unanticipated issues, questions, roadblocks, etc.
- Show support and appreciation for their efforts. Don’t wait until the project is 100% “wrapped” up. Some intermittent reinforcement goes along way. Express your satisfaction as they progress through the project.
- When it’s all said and done — time to debrief. Let’s find out what worked well and what didn’t. Talk to the people who completed the task and hear their perspective on how things could have been better handled. What else did they need from you or others?
As a leader one of your responsibilities is to “grow others”. Give them “stretch” assignments, push for their on-going training, cross-train, lead by example, etc. One of the best ways you can cultivate future leaders is by delegation. As you (and they) get more comfortable with the process you will all be more satisfied with your work. They will be more engaged and the relationship you have will grow stronger. You will have less stress and you will be “freed up” to tackle other pressing issues. Most importantly — “big picture” you have helped prepare someone else to be a leader or share the leadership role with.