It’s Called Delegation for a Reason – Give up Control to Get Control 1

Do you know me? I’m the one who is constantly looking over your shoulder. I lurk in the shadows, waiting for you to slip up so that I can pounce. Still don’t recognize me? My way is always the only way. I need to be in charge and I go out of my way to make sure everyone knows it. If this sounds like you, then perhaps you and I are one and the same: the typical “A” personality? (I’ll let you decide what the “A” stands for). If you haven’t guessed all ready – we’re the micro-manager; the classic control-freak. Trust me – I speak from experience. There’s no question that the control freak style of managing others does get results. But the question you need to ask yourself is “Will this style of managing – which was born out of the 1940’s and 50’s – be the same style that will help you be successful managing in the 21st Century?”

Worth Remembering …

“In the digital age you need to make knowledge workers out of every employee possible” – Bill Gates, Microsoft

I believe one of the keys to good management moving forward will be about “inclusion” not “exclusion”. It will be about including workers in the decision-making process at all levels in the organization. Companies should invert the triangle so that the pointed end is at the bottom and the wider portion – the base of the triangle – is at the top. By inverting the triangle you are acknowledging the people who really make it happen – your workers. (Management think they do – but the rank and file know better) Managing effectively in the 21st Century means that you have to “Give up control – to get control”. To control things – you don’t have to be involved in all things. You physically can’t be in all places – all the time. Decisions need to be made – actions need to be taken – time to react is now – not after you’ve had time to address the situation and decide the course of action. At some point you’ll have to delegate some of your responsiblity to others.

Worth Remembering …

“You establish some objectives for them, provide some incentive, and try not to direct the detailed way in which they do their work.” – David Packard, HP

It’s critical to your success that you show trust and confidence in your people. The best way to do that is to get out of their way and let them do it their way. Don’t get too hung up on how your people go about doing it. Yes, you can give them some pointers here and there, but keep in mind that most people like to put their own stamp on things. Don’t be a micro-manager. You didn’t like it when someone was looking over your shoulder – watching your every move – second guessing every decision you made – so don’t do the same thing to them.

The next time you have an opportunity to give up some of your control try these five easy steps to effective delegation:

1. Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure they have all the tools they’ll need to complete it.

2. Decide who you are going to delegate the task to: Who on your team do you believe is capable of completing the task and achieving the desired results?

3. Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform the task while you observe – and once you are satisfied that they can perform the task – get out of their way and let them do it on their own without you looking over their shoulder.

4. Monitor their performance: Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. Make it a point to check-in on them once in a while to make sure they are still achieving the desired result. Be there to answer any questions or address any concerns that they may have. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Keep the lines of communication open.

5. Praise performance often: Recognize what has been accomplished and be quick to offer praise for a job well done. When you praise someone for a job well done – be sure to keep your “but” out of it. If you want to tweak what they are doing ever so slightly then replace the “but” with “and”. John I love how you did that – it looks great – AND the next time you do it try doing this and see what you think.

If you don’t delegate some of your duties and responsibilities you won’t have the time to step back and think about where you, your department and or the organization needs to be and how you are going to get there. If you don’t
trust your people to do a job on their own, then why did you hire them in the first place? 🙂 Cheers,