Thursday, October 6, 2011

Learn to Delegate

One of the best things you can learn to do when you become a manager is delegate. No, I don't mean give other people your work. I mean, give them work they are paid to do.

Every so often when I want to take a rise out of my beloved wife, she gets a cup of coffee or something for me and I say, usually to visitors, "Why bark when you have a dog?"

Fortunately, she knows me well enough not to be offended and just shrugs it off.

When I became a manager, the first task I delegated to one of my team members was writing a letter to a senior public servant in response to something. When the letter arrived on my desk, it wasn't written exactly the way I would have written it (of course it wasn't!) so I rewrote it and asked my subordinate to change it.

As I drove home, I wondered what point there was in delegating if you finish up doing the job yourself. I knew instantly that I had to let go and trust those to whom I delegated tasks. In this case, I should have asked myself if the letter was good enough to do the job. If the answer was "yes", send it as it was.

This was a valuable experience for me and now I delegate without any worries.

Meer cats have no trouble delegating. They take turns standing lookout, like this lovely little fellow above, and scan the horizon for predator enemies. His fellow family members trust him implicitly to warn them if danger approaches. When he's done his bit, another meer cat takes over.

What's your delegation ability like? Are you a manager or supervisor who delegates? How well does it work. Write a comment and let us know.



  1. Anonymous2:36 PM

    I wish some of the managers I know woudl read this blog. They couldn't delegate to save their lives. Maybe I'll post them the link eh?

  2. Thanks for commenting. Most managers in Australia are gifted amateurs with no management training and limited skills. It's a parlous situation.


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