Sunday, April 26, 2009

Delegation Plain and Simple

If someone else can (and should) do it, don't do it -- no matter what.

If you have taken any management courses or read any management books at all, you've been told delegation is a key to executive productivity. Yet, as is so often the case, some of the simplest concepts are the hardest to implement -- like, "live in the now."

Apply the principle above with discipline. Focus just on this principle for 21 days and apply it unconditionally. Get used to hitting the "forward" key in your email and voicemail systems. Be strong.

Here are some pitfalls to avoid:
  • "It will be faster for me to do it than take the time to show someone else." Take the extra time to show someone else.
  • "This is urgent and requires immediate response." Make sure a staff person responds anyway and emphasize the time factor. Train the sender to not expect an immediate personal response from you.
  • "The customer expects personal attention from me." Train them to expect personal attention from someone else. (ex., "John on my staff will respond to you on this.")
  • "This just requires a short, one-word answer." Have someone on your staff respond with a short answer. This trains the sender to go to that staff person for answers from now on, not you. The length of the response has nothing to do with the application of the principle.
Keep this simple: if anyone other than you can handle the task, don't do it. No matter what.

3 comments: