Sunday, November 21, 2010

Delegation – do I dare?

Delegation is a skill of which we have all heard - but which few understand. It can be used either as an excuse for dumping failure onto the shoulders of subordinates, or as a dynamic tool for motivating and training your team to realize their full potential.
(Palsgrave 1530)

  1. You have to know what it is you want to delegate (what is the job?)
  2. You have to know who to delegate to (who can do the job?)
  3. You have to dare to let go of the task (do I trust anyone else to do this?)
  4. You have to be able to specify what your expected result is (what is the product?)
  5. You have to ensure that the result is acceptable afterwards (Is this good enough?)

The two first parts are relatively easy. Now it gets tougher.

One of my clients inspired me to write about delegation.

Jimmy said: “You see, Frode, I know how to delegate, how to find the tasks and match them to the people that can grow from them. I still don’t do it.”
“Because I believe that I am assessed and judged by what I deliver. If I stop being the expert and the doer, I will loose my power and my credibility and I don’t dare to risk that.”


So how can I help you understand that a leader is NOT the doer?

By writing about P2S? By asking you to take a good look at your own believes and challenge them?

This fear of leading and delegating is absolutely normal, especially in relatively new leaders.

You have been given all kinds of positive feedback on all the good stuff you have delivered. You were probably originally hired as an expert. Everybody came (and still comes) to you for answers and for the good stuff that you are so quick in delivering.
And now you are going to tell them that someone else is going to deliver? With a potentially lower quality and it’s going to take longer? YES.

This is one of the tougher choices you have to make. It is why I say Leadership IS a choice. Only when you choose to delegate, only then will the knowledge about how to and who to etc going to be useful.

Only when you trust that you will be assessed by your peers, people and your boss by your leadership skills and how your team is performing, only then will this work.

Yes, I do know that part of your job IS to deliver and your boss expects this from you. Life isn’t always easy. Know the difference between a boundary condition, challenge and problem, and challenge yourself to delegate what you can. Start small and keep training.

I wish you strength and courage – write to me or comment if you want more on this.

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