Stewardship Delegation Makes a Difference

Tuesday, November 6 2012

Delegation is entrusting parts of your job to someone else. If you leverage the skills, talents and abilities of others you can focus on your top payoff activities.

It sounds easy; but, poor delegation is one of the key reasons many organizations do not achieve the either results they desire or could.

A number of years ago I realized I needed an assistant to help with my business; someone, who could do the administrative tasks that took my time away from business development. Great idea and although I teach these ideas I have to admit it was not an easy transition. We set clear expectations about what my assistant would own and what authority she had. Even though we were clear, I was still challenged to give up control.

To be successful at delegating you must clarify:

  • What tasks or project you are delegating.
  • What decision-making authority the individual has.

How you behave will determine the success of the delegation. Consider these following types of delegation and ask yourself:

  • Which one is most like me?
  • Do I behave the same way to each person to whom I delegate?
  • If not, why? Do I trust one person more than another? Did I give too much responsibility to someone before they were ready? Have I recognized that someone is more capable than I thought?

Let’s look at four styles of delegation:

Stewardship Delegation is delegating the right level of responsibility and authority; allowing the individual to own the work and communicate progress and results at agreed upon intervals. It includes providing guidance and support when needed.

Dump and Run or delegation by abdication is quickly passing on a project without clearly defining the expectations, scope, deadlines, or authority. The person is left to figure it out without guidance or support.

Gopher Delegation is delegating one task at a time without letting the individual understand the big picture, or feel valued as part of a team.

Micromanaging is one of the most annoying forms of delegation. You delegate and then display a lack of trust by continually asking what is being done, if it has been completed, or describing exactly how to proceed rather than focusing on the outcome. Micromanaging can be corrected by agreeing upfront on deadlines, and reporting mechanisms.

If you are honest and have identified that you are not always delegating effectively, choose to change. Learn how to practice stewardship delegation. Although individuals will have different levels of authority, everyone should be clear about how their work fits into the big picture as well as:

  • Expectations
  • Deadlines
  • Reporting mechanisms

Challenge yourself to take at least one idea about delegation and put it into practice. It will make a difference to your results. I know my business increased dramatically when I delegated effectively…and I got to do the work I loved.