The Art of Delegation
Delegation of the very work for which you are both responsible and accountable, that you have spent emotional energy to acquire, and in which you have invested education and experience, is a difficult skill to develop.
Letting go is what it's all about. But though giving up usually means losing, getting less, taking the back seat, with the right parameters, delegation will give you the freedom to do more with increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Delegation is the answer to most problems you have as a manager or leader at work or in your personal life. It is the answer to your inability to get it all done, exhaustion at the end of the day, and a brain that can frazzle when several projects are demanding attention at the same time.
Delegation, used as a noun, is a group of people working toward the same purpose. Delegation, as a verb, means managing a group of people toward the same purpose. Keep this in mind as you proceed through the lessons in this class. In this first lesson, you will develop a vision for leading a delegation that is excellent, successful, and goal orientated. You will see how the foundation of delegation requires planning. But most of all, you will learn that delegation is the most effective strategy for getting any job accomplished in a timely manner, and at the highest quality of workmanship.
1. You must make a decision to delegate and develop a plan with follow-through, or it won't happen.
Every manager, boss, or leader thinks they delegate. Just ask one. However, delegating involves much more than handing out assignments, putting up an organizational chart, or distributing a few tasks. True delegation takes planning, preparation, and the ability to open yourself up to others. That means, at least initially, it will take some work. It means, in the long run, it will build your team, strengthen your mission, and best of all, give you the freedom to focus your work where it really counts.
Every plan begins with an inventory of your own personal goals, your own strengths and talents and, most importantly, a self-analysis of your current style of leadership. It's getting a baseline – a beginning point. You have to know where you are, before you can get to where you want to be. Knowing these things allows you to measure how far you have come, and how far you have to go. It is often difficult to see progress from a subjective perspective. However, if you can track accomplishments, work completion, and other measures of success, you will get a definitive and objective view of the forward movement, as well as all of the pieces that are working together. Being able to track what is happening, using the data from real events or products, will give you the confidence to continue in this direction that puts the best-run organizations at the top.
Delegation is an active, ongoing part of an efficient team of any size. It incorporates a leader, a plan, and clearly stated goals and objectives with data that shows progress. The plan must include the mission or vision of the group, specify a person who is responsible for each piece with built-in data collection methods for both communication between the members, and to track progress objectively. It requires communication skills -- both written and verbal -- regular team and individual face time, and an ability to move and change with the progress, or lack thereof, as shown by the data. It is a work in progress, being continually fluid, as the leader and the team adjust the objectives that step them toward their goals or their vision.
2. Appropriate delegation has been proven to produce employees who buy into the company vision, thus giving their best efforts, managers who find more success in achieving their own goals, and a workplace that is effective, positive, and productive.
Throughout the lessons in this class, you will learn how to develop various strategies that will enable you and your organization to not just improve what you are about, but strategies that will show you the way to a team focus, a team effort, and a clear method for communication, monitoring, and assessment of the work. The data collected presents a definitive picture of several key issues.
First this process of delegation will give you a solid and viable plan to follow. The plan will spell out specifics about what the goals are, who is responsible for each part, how the progress is to be reported, and state dates and times to review those reports. With this simple strategy, everything you are about is above board, clearly stated, and put out on the table up front. Each person in your team will know how the group will be proceeding toward the outcomes. Each team member will be aware of the fact that each person has been given a task that complements the talents and abilities of the group, as a whole, as well as that of each individual.
The second key is that a plan sets up the organization for clear communication about the work, the milestones for each person, as well as for the team, and a visible approach for assessment of work completion and the depth of that work. It also supports an openness about how to use the strengths and weaknesses of the individual.
The third key point is that this kind of plan has natural built-in moments for coaching, personal improvement goals, and personal development between members. When you delegate with a plan, your company will be set up to work in a supportive and positive manner, create a productive group, and drive individuals toward their personal best.
Unfortunately for some employees, it brings to the surface those who hide behind the work of others, fail to do their share of the work, or are lacking in the skills required. This is key for the leader who evaluates both the team and the individual. The data collected and efforts to support employees within the group will be evidence used in self-evaluation, as well as the employee evaluations that a company demands. It is the perfect start to working with that employee to make a turn-around or a choice to find a job with a better fit.
3. A plan to delegate begins with a simple organizational chart that entails four main parts, and functions to both monitor and assess the completion of each objective through products, data, or demonstration.
Part one of the plan is to write the vision for the organization, the company or the team at the top of the plan. This will set the umbrella under towards which all goals will move. It will keep the eye of the manager and his group on the larger picture. The plan will keep the wheels moving in the right direction, at the right speed, and with the right personnel. This vision is not written by the team but by the ownership of the company. The strength of individual goals is only as good as the clarity of the company vision.
Part two of the plan is defining goals for the task. The task may be a routine part of the daily job or a project your company has been hired to do. These goals will be stated as "SMART" goals. They will be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This means that each goal will be stated in such a way that anyone can understand exactly what is called for. It will leave no room for inaccurate interpretation. It will clearly frame how the goal will be measured, given in terms that can be managed effectively, measured, and put into a time table that is realistic yet set to meet any deadline.
Part three is the development of objectives. This piece takes the goals and breaks them down into steps toward reaching that goal. Every project, routine job, or goal is attained through a series of steps. Each step must be listed under each goal, again in specific language, using words that clearly cite the exactness of this objective requirement, the completion date, and data that demonstrates the quality and correctness of the objective.
The fourth part of the plan is to list the names of the person responsible for each objective toward meeting each objective or each goal. Remember that the goal is broader while the objective is the more specific steps taken in reaching that goal. One person might be assigned the goal with an understanding that they are also responsible for each step in reaching the goal. Or different people might be assigned different objectives because of their individual experience or skills. Most often the manager will be tracking the goals and the objectives will be assigned to employees. In a large group the manager might assign a person to track goals or a "goal tender" and then that person report back to the leader.
As the monitoring dates approach, the leader of the team, or the assigned "goal tender," will set up a meeting with the individual or group that has that responsibility. It is during this meeting that the leader will assess success in meeting the objective, make changes as needed with personnel, or the time line, or the way the objective has been stated. The exchange between this leader and the employee at this point is of high importance to the accomplishments of the team and of the company. It is during these pointed meetings that listening becomes as crucial as speaking. It is at this juncture that the leader will make decisions about employee coaching, or possible movement of assignments to give more or less responsibility. He must be able to evaluate and note all progress made for reports to his own supervisor.
During this part of the delegation plan, the manager is able to demonstrate to an employee his need for skill development, his strong abilities that support a promotion, and construct feed-back in a non-critical method. The data will speak for itself. The manager will take this information and work to build a stronger and more effective team.
|Time to complete||6 months|
|No. of courses||1 course|
|Time to complete||6 months|
|No. of courses||1 course|
|Time to complete||12 Months|
|No. of courses||500+|
|Time to complete||Monthly|
|No. of courses||500+|