by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor
DELEGATION. Pretty tame little word, but it is a snake with a venomous head at each end. Both heads ready to give you a dose of venom. But this snake isn’t going away, so you had better learn to handle him.
Okay, admit it. Who hasn’t said one or more of these things?
- I don’t have time to train someone to do this.
- I have to do this myself, everyone else is already overloaded.
- If I delegate it, I’ll have to fix it anyway, so I may as well do it in the first place.
- I don’t have anyone capable of handling this.
- No one will do it as well as I can.
Cop outs. All cop outs. If you don’t delegate you will become overloaded and both you and the organization will get bit. You are doing a major disservice to your people by not teaching them what you know. They also get bit.
So, you grab that snake by the other end and you delegate one or more tasks. Yep, just as you expected it doesn’t get done as well as you could have done it. You have to fix it. It is completed late. So, the natural reaction is to go back to the other end of the snake and you stop delegating.
Sound vaguely familiar? Oh yes, we have all been bitten by both heads from time to time.
Of course you are busy. Do you think your employer would be paying you to be idle? You are also being paid to teach and train and develop the people under you. Step up to the plate and delegate, but doing it well, like anything else requires practice. Train them, fix their mistakes, train them again. Eventually that snake will stop biting.
Do you delegate as much as you should? What steps do you see as critical to good delegation? What other excuses do you have for not delegating? Where would you be if your prior bosses hadn’t found the time to delegate to you?