Effective Delegation Expands Your Capacity

Tuesday, November 21 2017

What is Effective Delegation?

Dr. G. Michael Durst says: It is “…the achievement by a manager of definite, specified results.” [1]

Durst suggests that prior to delegating you will have thought about, crystallized and defined the specific results that you are seeking. Your plan is thoughtfully considered, carefully written, and well articulated. Make time to think about what you are delegating and the outcomes that you wish to achieve. Write them out.

Effective delegation requires clarity about “…results previously determined on the basis of a priority of needs.”1

You identify certain goals and expectations to meet the current needs of the business. Consider what you can delegate and who can best champion that project.

Effective delegation empowers and motivates staff members to accomplish all or part of the specific results for which the manager has final accountability.”1

Empowerment is delegating the authority to accomplish a goal – a goal for which you are ultimately responsible. You give someone else the job to do, but the responsibility for the final result remains yours. Your reputation depends on getting it right.

The specific results for which the staff members are accountable are clearly delineated in advance in terms of output required and time allowed and the staff members’ progress is measured continuously during the time period.”1

Define a measurable expectation. Be clear that progress will be tracked continuously and include regular feedback to encourage adjustment if things are getting off track. Handing a task off and forgetting about it isn’t effective delegation; it’s abdication.

Successful delegation is based upon an agreement. Both parties agree:

  • Upon the measurable results to be achieved
  • Who is responsible and accountable for producing results
  • The specific time frame
  • What level of authority to make decisions has been delegated
  • To measure performance and provide feedback
  • That you each accept responsibility for doing your part to achieve the results
  • What additional guidance is required
  • What they should stop doing in order to free up time

Use a process for delegation and teach it to others. Contact us to request a copy of our Delegation Agreement. It is a checklist for success.

Done poorly, delegation can lead to disaster. Done well, it frees you to do other important tasks of business transition planning – like working ON the business and growing the bench strength of your team.

[1] Dr. Gary Michael Durst, Management By Responsibility Training Systems International.