One of the most difficult things I had to learn as a young business person was effective management delegation. I was afraid to delegate tasks to those beneath me; partially because I was used to doing so much on my own and partially because I was afraid the job wouldn’t be completed to my own personal standards. Rather than take the risk, I tried to finish projects by myself and rarely asked for help.
What a mistake! I soon had more work than I could handle and the quality of my completed tasks was suffering; not because I didn’t care but because I simply didn’t have enough time. I quickly realized that delegating tasks is not only integral to the successful completion of projects, but it is also an effective method of time management!
When your superiors give you a task, you automatically become responsible for the project and can be held accountable for the outcome. You’ll then delegate the task to an individual or group, thus transferring responsibility to those who are going to do the physical work. In the end, however, your superiors are going to look to you for the end product and you will always be held accountable for the quality of the work.
Your team should be properly trained and prepared for any task you hand them. You have, after all, spent countless hours working with them so there should be no question in your mind as to whether or not they can handle any given situation. Some managers are afraid of giving up power or control, but this is also an unreasonable excuse for avoiding delegation.
Delegation can be a scary concept for both new and seasoned managers, but it is one you have to learn to deal with rather quickly. There is not a single person in the world that can do everything, and you’ve been given the authority to hire a team for a reason. As long as you have taken the time to properly train your new hires, there should be no reason to hold back when it comes to delegating tasks.
Take a close look at the members of your team. Are they properly prepared for anything you may have to throw at them? If not, you haven’t done your job and you need to make a plan to remedy the situation as soon as possible!
Originally published: 19 August, 2008
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