Delegation is a skill of leadership. This is as true for consultants as it is for our clients.
You know what you’d like to give away. You do it right and faster. At the same time, if you could just trust the process, we all know its smarter to give it away. Whatever the “it” is.
And delegation is done poorly more often than done well. What to do?
Here are six steps and four big secrets, that’ll ramp up delegation for you and your clients:
1. Define: what needs to be accomplished. Saying, “I need you to do X, and do a good job on this” is not specific enough.
Secret #1: Define results as measurable actions and behaviors. Define the goal as data based as possible, name the timeline, name the budget, name the resources.
2. Share: why this is important
Share why this task/event is important. The bigger the “why,” the more likely the job will be done well. Jjobs will be created, top line will expand, profit sharing of the bottom line will expand, new markets will be created, a new door will likely open for you, are all examples of big “why.”
Secret #2: “Because I’m your boss,” is not a big why, it’s a whip. “Because I’m your boss” tends to create more drama than it does positive results.
3. Share: Why you are the right person
Why is this person the person you’ve picked to get this goal accomplished? E.g. “Susan, you have the skills to do this, you’re ready for the challenge and the opportunity”
Secret # 3: Counter-intuitive, let it be okay to say no! Is there room to renegotiate to get to “yes?” Pick someone who wants the gig.
4. Inquire: How will this get done?
There’s a difference between being a micro manager and doing a check in. Serve as a resource; ask to hear the action steps, suggest ideas based on experience and step back.
5. Define: How and when to check back
This does not mean micro-manage. It does mean, check in, verify progress against budget, timeline, and deadline.
- For someone without a track record, check back is often, and early in the process.
- Loosen the check back cycle as a person proves themselves. Do not assume because they say they have it, that they do.
Secret #4: Check back early enough so that if the delegation follow-through is ineffective, the deadline is not missed.
6. Inspire: Have time to course correct. Hit the goal
Schedule check backs often enough so, if the process is off course, there’s time to course correct and still make deadline. An eleventh-hour miss is too late to fix. Again, the goal is not micro-managing, it is effective support on progress to ensure success.
There is no doubt that effective delegation strengthens the company. Delegate anything and everything you can. At the same time, do not delegate those things only you can do.
Rudy Miick FCSI is the founder and president of The Miick Companies, LLC.
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