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Delegating with Discipline

Delegating with Discipline

Due diligence?  Do delegate!  Do you delegate with discipline?

If you’re like most of our clients, the answer is no.  And that’s a bigger problem than you might realize.

Every time you take on an action item that can be appropriately delegated, you’re undermining the efficiency of your team, and thus of your organization.

The business case is obvious:  every job ought to be done by the lowest-paid employee capable of doing it. Otherwise, you’re throwing away money.  Not a wise strategy in any economic climate.  Plus, delegating empowers employees.

And yet, soooo many managers don’t delegate effectively.  It’s an epidemic.  Why is it so?

Pick the reason(s) that fit you …

  1. I don’t trust my employee to do as good a job as I will
  2. I’m not willing to let go of the satisfaction I get from gettin’ stuff done
  3. It’s easier to do stuff than to vision, plan, analyze, evaluate, and worry about the complex big picture (a corollary of #2 above)
  4. I’m not organized enough to assign the job ahead of its due date
  5. My employees aren’t trained or equipped to do the job, even though they’re capable
  6. It takes me too long to explain how to do it (a variation of #5 above)
  7. They have too much to do; I don’t want to bother them

Each of these represents a failure of leadership.  Are you willing to examine and proactively address the gaps in your leadership capacities?  If not, perhaps you’re better off as an individual contributor.

YOUR PATH FORWARD:   For two weeks, at the end of each workday, take 5 minutes to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I do today that I might have been able to delegate?
  • Which of the 7 reasons above accounts for that?
  • What can I do to resolve this inefficient situation?
  • What might I be able to delegate tomorrow to afford me more time for leadership responsibilities?

For more on delegation, check out Plank 4 in our book, The Leadership Platform

About the Author

Steve Motenko
Steve Motenko is an executive coach, leadership trainer, and co-host of The Boss Show, a weekly podcast on workplace dynamics. Steve and his Boss Show co-host, Jim Hessler, are co-authors of Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guide to Building Your Leadership Platform. Steve lives on Whidbey Island, Washington, with his wife and dog, whom he loves, and a cat he tolerates usually pretty well.

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