Effective delegation is the best indicator of effective management simply
because it is so basic to both personal and organizational growth.
--Stephen R. Covey
Are you a Producer? If you are reading the Performance Report, then you probably are. Managers or executives have already proven that they are producers. But if you are a producer who can delegate effectively, then your accomplishments far exceed your efforts, because those you foster will also be producers for you, exponentially increasing your output.
Most managers may think this obvious; of course you have been delegating tasks for years. However, let’s focus on effective delegation that focuses on results instead of methods. This kind of delegation allows people to choose the method of accomplishing the task you have delegated to them, and makes them responsible for the results.
This initially takes more time, but is well worth the investment. By developing mutual understanding in the following areas, you will be able to foster stewardship delegation versus task delegation. Let’s review those areas:
Desired Results—Start by creating a mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished. Be clear, and focus on what needs to be accomplished, versus how it is going to happen.
Guidelines—Identify parameters and possible pitfalls; are there mistakes you have made that you can share? Are there resources that are off limits in this situation? Share these with your subordinate, so he or she doesn’t waste time and energy going down a “failure” path.
Resources—Identify the human, technical, financial or organizational resources that are available.
Accountability—What are the standards of performance? Don’t leave the set-up meeting without conveying a performance expectation.
What will bring out the best in your staff? Fostering trust. Trust is the highest form of motivation. This takes time and training, but is well worth the investment. Stewardship Delegation, as it is called by Stephen Covey, in his landmark classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will ultimately result in much more work getting done.
Effective Stewardship Delegation will result in much higher returns, and naturally combats Gofer Delegation that requires management of methods as well as results. If you spend your time managing staff in this way, your time will be spent doing all of the process and results management. How many people can you manage in this way? Not very many. Investing in Stewardship Delegation will have positive results for everyone.