Friday, December 19, 2008

Delegation as a Leadership Tool

How do you view delegation? Is delegation a tool you use every day to ensure your team gets the results you need? Delegation is the art of directing someone to do tasks for you.

The chances are you can do most jobs and tasks within your team, however that doesn't mean you should do them. By carefully delegating appropriate tasks to your team members, you will leverage their skills and time to complete the tasks your team need to meet.

When tasks are delegated it is important that you follow some basic rules:

1. Explain exactly what the task's outcome is,
2. Outline any limitations placed on how the task is to be completed,
3. Specify the timeline for specific milestones and the completion date,
4. Highlight any progress reports, their details, and period, and
5. Explain to the person doing the task how they are suitably empowered.

It is often assumed that once you have delegated the task your job is done, this is very wrong now is the time for mentoring as required and some subtle supervision.

When I say subtle supervision allow the person some freedom in how they complete the task and only step-in if asked to, or to stop a pending disaster. When we are new at tasks we may head in the wrong direction for sometime before correcting the issue and getting back on course, the lesson will be much better learnt if corrected by one-self rather than from an over-protective leader.

One important thing to remember, while we can delegate the task to others, we as good leaders cannot delegate the responsibility to a team member. The eventual outcome belongs to us, not our team members.

By leveraging the skills and efforts of our team-members we will have a more productive team.

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