There is not a single person who can do all they need to do by themselves. A President, Supervisor, Mother, or CEO needs to do have the help of others to complete their work. A President surrounds themselves with advisers who are delegated authority to complete a large number of important tasks like executing wars, collecting taxes, keeping peace, and so on. A Supervisor is given roles of not only completing tasks themselves but delegating other tasks. The following guidelines are recommendations that should generally help when you have work to delegate.
1) Slow Down – you know that it is easier to do things yourself. If you don’t delegate you will burn out, miss deadline, and ultimately not complete everything you want to.
2) Match the Person with the Task – you can’t delegate grocery shopping to your five year old – yet. One key matter is to select the right person to delegate tasks to. Chose one skill set at a time. For exampl, she how your child puts away groceries you buy. Or ask an assistant to answer phones. Watch how they follow directions, their dedication to details, and urgency to excel. You’ll find with smaller tasks where each person’s limits are.
3) Clear on the Outcome, Creative on the Path (ref) – if you’ve chosen the right person to delegate a task to let them shine. Give guidance and suggestions but let others show their creative ways for solving problems. You might actually learn something new if you give them a chance.
4) Follow Up & Review Their Work – nothing is more demoralizing than working for days on a project only to learn you were wrong from the start. Both sides of the equation should review the status of the work at pre-determined stages. If you tell you child to mow a lawn they have never done before you should check on them to make sure they don’t cut your petunias.
5) Return & Report – I love this phrase on many levels. If a job is work delegating it is worth receiving (and giving) follow up. I have found the best measure of accountability is a weekly report. In some situations a daily report may be in order. Regardless of the environment, if it is worth doing it is worth reporting.
As I prepared this a flood of ideas, situations and people came to my mind. Children, friends, co-workers, supervisors, clergy, parents and many others must interact together both as the one giving and receiving tasks. Each share an equal duty to make sure work gets completed (done).