Delegation



A key aspect of leadership is delegation. Unless you delegate tasks to your subordinates, your team will become inefficient and demoralised.

"I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow."
- Woodrow Wilson

Poor Delegation
Advantages of Delegation
How to Delegate
Responsibility
Authority
Tasks you should not delegate
Your Task after Delegating
Bibliography



Poor Delegation

Signs that you are not borrowing enough brains or that your delegation is failing include:


Not delegating a task because you think that you would do it better than anyone else is a poor excuse. Doing this will just make life difficult for yourself.

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Advantages of Delegation

Positive aspects of delegation include:

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How to Delegate

  1. Identify a suitable person for the task.
  2. Prepare the person. Explain the task clearly. Make sure that you are understood. Leave room in the task description for ingenuity / initiative.
  3. Make sure the person has the necessary authority to do the job properly.
  4. Keep in touch with the person for support and monitoring progress. Do not get to close. Accept alternative approaches.
  5. Praise / Acknowledge a job well done.

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Responsibility

Even though you have delegated a task to someone else, you are still responsible for making sure the task is done on time and correctly. If the task fails, you can not point the finger. You delegated. It is your fault. You may have picked the wrong person for the job.

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Authority

The amount of authority you delegate is up to you, although it should be enough to complete the task. It is no good giving Bob the task of opening the safe every morning at 10am if you do not give him the authority required to do it. Bob needs the key to open the safe with.

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Tasks you should not delegate

Obviously some aspects of leadership are sensitive and should not be delegated. For example:

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Your Task after Delegating

After delegating:

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Bibliography

"Six Steps to Effective Delegation" - G. Culp and A. Smith from The Journal of Management in Engineering, January 1997, Page30

"Don't Do, Delegate!" - J. M. Jenks & J. M. Kelly, Published by Bridles Ltd. 1986

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Most recent revision 7 Feb 1997