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Freedom to the Business Leader - The Art of Delegation

I have spoken to hundreds of CEO’s/ MD’s and their biggest fear, stumbling block or major issue is their inability to delegate effectively.  I hear statements such as:

  •          ‘I cannot delegate as the folks do not have the skills to make it happen.’
  •          ‘If I delegate then I know that the job will not get done to my satisfaction, so why waste time and delegate!’
  •          ‘I have delegated in the past and when the time comes to deliver the task and I ask the inevitable question, then there is some ‘phony’ excuse - mostly about overwork, on why the work has not been completed….’
  •          ‘I get so frustrated that the work is not done properly that I just lose confidence to delegate and end up doing the work myself’

I could go on with how our customers feel initially about this area. However out of the myriad of coaching methods several tools have helped to improve the delegation skills of those CEOs.  The transformation to the CEO’s ability to delegate has been sensational, leading them to:

  •          Not be stressed thinking that the work will not be done effectively
  •          Free up their time to focus on the most important part of their work
  •          Develop the team around them to carry the load – making those individuals responsible and accountable
  •          Improve customer satisfaction as solutions are resident in the team rather than the CEO
  •          Improve revenue and profitability as the CEO is left to develop bigger strategic opportunities and to improve efficiencies within the organisation

So what are those tools that have enabled such a transformation?

Well I would like to share with you one of those tools today.  They fall under the question headings of:

WHAT

WHY

HOW

WHO

WHEN

If you mentally commit these simple words to memory every time you have to delegate a task, I guarantee that you will have at least the opportunity to delegate effectively.  Let us dig into the detail one by one:

 

WHAT?

You must effectively explain about the subject that you want completing.  This is your chance to paint the background of the task thoroughly.  Provide any emails, correspondences and notes so that the person delegated to has all the relevant information that you have.

WHY?

This is super important.  This allows you to sell the importance of the task to the individual.  Identify aspects such as cost savings, customer staying on board, huge profit margins etc.  It is essential to quantify and qualify the importance of the task in relation to customer and cost impact to the business.

HOW?

This is the tricky part.  The best leaders understand that someone may do it in a different way to them, and still get the same result.  By asking the person how they will go about doing the task will help you to understand the individual’s thought processes, thereby reassuring you that the task is likely to be completed

WHO?

Thrash out who is involved in the project.  Who should the individual see, who has to be involved in the task?  Part of the action could be for you to broker getting the individual to be seen by another senior member of the team

WHEN?

There are two stages of this.  Helping the individual to be comfortable that they can achieve the deadline by asking them when this can be done.  If the timescales are different to your own then discuss how that can be changed and what can you do to support those changes. 

The second stage of this aspect is to set milestones of the task.  Set a review date with the individual to monitor progress and to ensure that those stage milestones are completed.  DO NOT wait to the end of the task to discuss progress – that is too late.  Carrying out a mid-stage review will allow you to rectify with the individual any issues that are likely to put the task in jeopardy.

 

I hear you cry.  BUT I NEED TIME TO DO THIS.  That is perfectly true, and in all cases your team will take a little longer (the first time around) than you to complete the task. But they will get quicker and find better ways of completing it.  So let go and let your people loose on the next task.

You may have other tools that you use to delegate effectively.   If so drop me a line so that I can share this with my customers and the LinkedIn business community.

 

 

By Wayne Wright on 15th April, 2014

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