Learning to Delegate

Learning to Delegate any tasks that can be performed by a person earning less than your hourly rate or your desired hourly rate will be beneficial to any business leader. Another way of stating this is, there is a strong likelihood the things you do are those for which you would pay another person your hourly rate or less.

Having determined what to delegate, the next step is to select the person to whom you will delegate the task. If you delegate an important task to a person who is incapable of performing adequately, you are setting that individual up for failure while inviting disappointment and frustration on your part. This is not to say the person has to be as capable as you. But they must have sufficient skills and experience to effectively perform the delegated task. Choose carefully. It is in the best interest of the person to whom you are delegating and of course, in your own best interest as well.

Be clear as to your intended outcome. What is the end result you want to achieve when the delegated task has been completed? Make every effort to describe this clearly to the person to whom you are delegating the task. Then ask them to repeat their understanding of the assigned task. If their description is not an accurate summary of what you want to accomplish, explain the differences in detail and ask them to again feed back to you their understanding of the assignment. If the two of you do not start out on the same page, there is little likelihood of success.

Set a clear deadline for completion of the delegated task. Do not be vague. An ambiguous target such as sometime next week or as soon as you can get it done will not serve either of you well. Without a clearly defined completion date, there will be no sense of urgency, and the job may very well drag on ad infinitum, frustrating you both.

It will be important for both of you to be able to gauge the progress being made as the delegated task is carried out. Specifically, how will you measure this progress? Reach agreement on the yardstick by which you will make such judgments.

What will be the reward for the person successfully completing the delegated task? Are these rewards known by the person charged with the responsibility of carrying the task out? Are the rewards important to the person? Will the rewards serve to motivate the person? The rewards do not have to be enormous, but they should be meaningful to the person. Otherwise they will have little effect. Their emotional importance is what will have the greatest affect.

What one activity or task that does not represent the highest and best use of your time, but that is nevertheless important to the success of your business, will you delegate?

“Remember, Success is Always Within Reach”

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