Friday, 25 October 2013

Effective delegation: A key component of leadership

You've made an unusual discovery - there's not enough time left at the end of the day. The bottom line of course, is your list of important things to do never gets smaller. In any company, the CEO's to-do list has the potential to grow infinitely.

What's a senior executive to do?

You have doubtlessly concluded your next level of company performance requires a managerial change. And hopefully, you have realized the changes necessary are with you. As CEO (or, on a divisional or departmental level - senior executive) your jobs include holding the vision; inspiring your senior management and your staff; fostering key relationships with customers, vendors, investors and the public, etc.

You now need to let go of some cherished things like product design, hiring, perhaps day-to-day sales - many things you handled in the past, often out of necessity - and focus yourself on your role as CEO. What about all these things you used to do? Delegate them. Assign the job to someone else.

There are five components to successful delegation.

1. Give the job to someone who can get it done.
2. Communicate precise conditions of satisfaction.
3. Work out a plan.
4. Build accountability.
5. Get employee buy in.

Often timeframes are dictated by external circumstances. Still, your employee must sign on for the task at hand. If you say, "This must be done by next Tuesday," they have to agree that it is possible. Ask instead. "Can you have this by Tuesday?" To you this may seem a bit remedial, but the step is often overlooked. Whenever possible, have your delegate set the timeline and create the plan. You need only provide guidance and sign off.   If you skip any one of the above steps, you dramatically reduce the likelihood things will turn out the way you want them to. On the other hand, if you rigorously follow the steps, you greatly increase the odds in your favour. Isn't this more work than doing it myself, you ask. No - it isn't.

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