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August – Delegate – Delegate – Delegate

A recent Harvard Business Review article got me to thinking again about delegation.* In prior articles and my books I have talked about two key delegation issues:

  1. Operations
    Many managers get so bogged down in operations (things you could delegate) that their management tasks are left undone.
  2. Empowerment
    Employees today want to be empowered and the key to motivating most employees is based on empowerment.
  1. Busy, Busy
    In my consulting practice, I am continually amazed how difficult it is to schedule meetings with the managers in organizations we are reviewing. Many are totally bogged down. It is not unusual that I will need to schedule a meeting two or three weeks out. This is a sign of poor delegation and possibly micro-management.

With a rare exception, the article suggests that everything that can be delegated should be. A nice little check list of six T’s is included to help you with your delegation.

TINY: These are small inconsequential items but they add up – delegate.

TEDIOUS: Relatively simple items but not a good use of your time – delegate.

TIME-CONSUMING: These may be important tasks but let others do the heavy lifting and you step in when needed – delegate.

TEACHABLE: Teaching is a big part of your job anyway so – delegate.

TERRIBLE AT: These items are not your strengths and someone else will be better anyway; another empowerment opportunity – delegate.

TIME SENSITIVE: Don’t let your schedule miss the time sensitive items, they can be – delegated.

So here is a test. Next time someone important wants a meeting with you – how about later today or first thing in the morning?

The Management Doctor

*How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate, by Jenny Blake, July 2017.

July – Signs of Greatness* and the Best Place to Work**

My local newspaper and my monthly Executive Book Summary provided the data for this July Management Info email. I think most of us aspire to work in great places. The Planning Directors and managers reading this email have a responsibility to make it happen.

A partial checklist of 10 items from the two articles:

  1. Everyone Is Having Fun
    I talk to more and more planners, like myself, who are in no hurry to retire. Why? They like what they are doing and are having fun at the workplace.
  2. No One is Pedantic 
    I had to look it up – know it all, fussy, strict. What is needed are open-minded people who want to learn new things.
  3. Empathy Abounds 
    We see each other’s point of view and don’t just try to advance our own career.
  4. Expectations Are Clear and Roles are Clearly Defined 
    Your Northbound Train. (If this is not clear, look it up on our website search engine.) Employees are empowered.
  5. Hard Work Is Rewarded 
    Public pats on the back can go a long way. Money is not the issue. Empowerment is the real motivator.
  6. Mentoring is Important 
    A learning environment with lots of training opportunities.
  7. Success is Overrated 
    Great organizations and teams attempt more solutions and make more mistakes.
  8. Caves and Campfires 
    How do you choose among cubicles, private offices, and open spaces? You don’t. By offering a selection of options companies can support both focus work and collaboration.
  9. Better Than Money 
    Happiness is largely driven by the respect we receive from others.
  10. A Great Leader 
    Managers and Planning Directors – this is your job.

* San Diego Union Tribune, June 25, 2017
** Soundview Executive Book Summaries, December 2016

The Management Doctor