It has been said by many that the key to success is delegation of tasks and responsibilities. Business leaders of large and small enterprises know the value of delegation, yet lack the necessary principles of delegation, so they take on far too many tasks under the guise of “if you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself.” Today, in the middle of an economic storm, delegation is a more important leadership task than ever before.
The following is an excerpt from the book, The Entrepreneur’s Bill of Rights, by DJ Dunworth:
The question of whether to delegate or not is often considered a personal choice of many managers. In reality, there is no choice. “If one is to be a successful manager at your company, delegation is a necessity.” A basic principle of organizational management states that enough authority shall be delegated to a manager to take the necessary action(s) for accomplishing an objective.
Principles of Delegation
In any situation or organization department, the principles of delegation are unwavering:
- In the accomplishment of an objective, one must select the appropriate individual(s). Be sure to select someone capable of performing the task under typical circumstances and the period involved.
- Employees and/or contractors need to be effectively trained to ensure they “have what it takes” to be contributing toward accomplishing the objective in question.
- Ensure they understand the parameters of the objective, providing them with both the authority and the understanding that they are accountable.
- All parties should agree on the scope and specific results to be achieved, as well as the performance standards for a successful completion.
- Use fairness in delegation; delegate both enjoyable and difficult tasks evenly.
- Ensure that all subordinates/contractors are trained and have the necessary skills to be successful.
- Establish timely yet achievable goals with enough time allotted to achieve the goals satisfactorily. Nothing is more demotivating than to be assigned a goal without enough time to achieve it.
Every manager delegates (or doesn’t) differently. Sometimes delegation is necessary to further develop an individual for future responsibility, but often delegation is needed to simply get more done. Most weakly trained management personnel take far too much responsibility on themselves, rather than delegating tasks to subordinate employees. This is primarily out of either fear of failure, or a matter of control. They fail to realize that accomplishing tasks and objectives through others is the basic role for which they were hired.
A simple way to identify tasks and objectives for delegation is to merely develop a prioritized list. Once written, re-evaluate the entire list and place them in A, B, and C categories. A manager may wish to keep the A and B tasks, and delegate the C, or less important tasks. This may be fine in the early stages of management, but may prove to be an unreliable method long term. However, for the sake of this article, let us presume the less favorable, less critical tasks can be delegated, using the aforementioned principles. One rule to remember is to follow up on what is delegated, thereby ensuring the completion of tasks, minimizing personal time spent on these tasks, and communicating to others of your trust in them.
Today’s Admin is a Virtual Assistant firm providing an affordable way for entrepreneurs to get more done effectively and efficiently. Call us today to learn more about how we can help your company run more efficiently.