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Friday, August 14, 2009

The Reluctant Delegator

You're a busy boss or project manager. You've got tons of work on your plate. You don't have enough hours in the day to get all your work done. What will you do?

If you're a boss or in charge of a project, one thing you've probably got going for you is a team and team members. That should mean that there are people who may have similar knowledge as you and can hopefully complete tasks with a level of quality you deem appropriate.

So why don't you delegate? It's amazing, but many bosses out in the work world just don't do it. Some reasons leaders are reluctant to delegate are:
  1. You've been burned before and so the only person you trust to get work done and done well is YOU.
  2. All your people have work of their own to complete. You feel guilty "dumping" work on others.
  3. You're not quite sure how to effectively delegate.

Here are four excellent reasons to delegate:

  1. So you don't die from overwork.
  2. To showcase your team members.
  3. Development for your people.
  4. Your team members may actually come up with a better outcome than you would have on your own (and that's OK).
How much should I give out to others? Look at:
  1. Your peoples' strengths.
  2. Their work load from your perspective (and you may need to ask them, too).
  3. The attributes of different team members who you want to develop.

How do I delegate?

  1. Let each team member know what you need done (show examples, if needed).
  2. Provide the deadline.
  3. Set up review or check-in times so you can gauge progress and provide guidance or assistance, as needed.
  4. Review the work (don't assume it's the way you want it automatically)
Delegation doesn't have to be painful. It can even be rewarding experience for both you and your team if you use the opportunity to help your people grow and develop. Don't underestimate what others can do. Sometimes, when you let people own a task, they can surprise you with the great results.

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