Delegate or Die: 10 Ideas

This week our member webinar was on
the topic: Delegate or Die.

You can Download a Podcast of this Session


Delegating = Building Value

1. Don’t think of delegating as giving work to other people, think about it as making sure the highest value work gets done at the right levels.

2. Make sure you understand what the right strategic work that should be done at your level is.  Don’t fail to delegate well because you don’t know what else you would do!  Your job is to build value and capacity over time.  You can’t do that if you are consumed by work that should be done by your team.

3. People will not automatically line up to let you do the right level work.  You are the one who is in charge of defining it and making it happen.  Be the one to negotiate what work gets done by you, your boss, and your team.  Get higher value work delegated from your boss, and keep your boss out of the weeds, and your hair.

Don’t jump in and do the work yourself

4. Your job is not to “cover” for work by your team that is not good enough.  Your job is to make sure you build a team that can deliver excellent work.  If you don’t (this is where the “or die” part happens) you will be stuck working several jobs because you have failed to build the right, capable team.

5. If you can’t delegate to a person, you can delegate to a process.   Look for repetitive or chaotic work, and invent systems and processes to streamline and offload time consuming activities.  This frees up time for higher value work too.

Delegating is a Teaching Opportunity

6. Don’t’ take for granted what you know.  Share the secret.  Communicate how you would assess the task or evaluate the quality of the deliverable.  Provide clear descriptions of desired outcomes, create templates or give examples for what it looks like when it’s finished.

7. If you ever do need to jump in in a crisis, make sure you are not working in isolation – make sure you use it as a teaching opportunity.  Educate someone along the way, or you will be stuck again next time.

How to Delegate Well

8. Avoid the two ends of the spectrum – Micromanage and Abdicate.
Micromanaging is managing every detail and activity (you might as well be doing it yourself). Abdicating is giving something over so completely you are not owning the success, just hoping for the best.  This is typical for work you hate or areas you don’t know about, and a savior comes to work for you.

9. The trick in either case is to set a clear desired outcome for the end result and then a set of intermediate outcomes along the way.  That way you keep ownership for the successful outcome, without managing all the detail along the way.

10. A critical factor, for effective delegating  – a must – is to create frameworks and processes so that you get fed information about progress that makes you feel comfortable that the work is getting done, so you don’t feel the need or temptation to either jump in, or require too much detail along the way.

Members: Downloads are FREE

Download the Podcast of this webinar
Download the presentation & worksheets

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You can find Patty at, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

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