Why you would delegate, I mean really. The only person who can do it right is you, you know that. Everyone else, well sure, they’re ok, but not quite good enough, and they certainly won’t do it the same way you do. The big bonus is, if you never delegate, you’ll never have to worry about losing your job because no one else will be able to do it and take over. Yep, it’ll be same company, the same office, same desk, same chair, same job, every day, every week, every year till death do us part. Great stuff, you’re fixed for life.
One of the biggest mistakes that many (particularly new) managers and leaders make, is to undervalue the fine art of delegation. You know you have to delegate, it’s the right thing to do – so they say. Begrudgingly you search around for the rubbish tasks and pass them off faster than a speeding bullet, you’re more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall piles of paperwork in a single delegation. Voila! You’re Super Man-ager. Well sadly, you’re actually just a pain to work with.
There are many very important reasons for delegating
Not the least, smart and courageous people work themselves out of a job by focusing on developing others. They have the faith that another good opportunity will come along if they develop their reports. They put a little faith in the universe.
Delegation improves Staff Engagement
Managers who delegate have far more engaged employees. Seems counter intuitive? Well it’s true. We all like to think we are doing something important, learning something new, developing our skills, venturing into the hallowed space of our boss. We all like to think we are trusted and that our work and our capability is respected. When the boss entrusts us with an important task, that’s how we feel.
Delegate liberally and deliberately for best results
Delegation is not a case of just dumping your toxic waste on your staff and maximising your coffee time, although that does sound pretty appealing to me. It’s about taking a very deliberate approach.
- There is the commercial aspect to your decision. Who can do the job cost effectively? If they cost half as much as you but take twice as long well you’re no worse off, but they are developing a new skill, so you’re better off.
- Are you giving them work that will develop their skills and knowledge and if so, is it relevant skills and knowledge. No use making them a whiz on financials when their job is to manage customer service, no use making them a whiz on communication, when they are working in a dark corner of the research lab – well you know what I am getting at (I hope).
So think carefully about what you delegate so that it helps them and also helps you. Think ahead beyond the next 5 minutes and the next exploding workload catastrophe.
You’re never too quiet to give away a task
And you know what else, delegate when you’re quiet. Delegations not just for you’re overflow. I know it goes against the grain to give people work and then to twiddle your thumbs, but it is important to keep up the process as a routine, not just a special occasion.
Things will be great, if you’ll just delegate
I guarantee that if you delegate routinely and in a planned and deliberate fashion, you will become far more productive, your staff will be more engaged, and opportunities will come your way.
Many thanks to James Westmore for his wonderful artwork.