Delegation is one function that many leaders find challenging at times, particularly if the project is one that is considered a pet project. The temptation to personally do most aspects of a project, out of fear that things won’t be don’t up to standards, is often a fundamental challenge.
Financial Services Executive, Glen Wakeman, has mapped out the keys to good delegation in a piece he calls entitled, “Delegation 101.” In his article, Wakeman shows how to properly transfer power and make others feel the sense of responsibility and purpose every delegator hopes to sense in a delegate. Here we will take a closer look at Glen’s advice.
Glen begins by stress the need to set expectations for your delegate. You should detail the problem you wish to solve. Be definitive and clear about what exactly is entailed in the assignment. Paint an accurate picture of what success should look like.
The two major questions you need to answer about the project at the onslaught are why—explain the need for the resolution of the problem; and secondly, how—ways to solve the problem (hightechchronicle). Wakeman finds it important to differentiate between assigning a list of tasks—he calls this micromanagement and transferring ownership of a problem over to a subordinate or team. Wakeman says, “If you can’t transfer ownership, you should simply do it yourself.”
Wakeman believes that the transfer of ownership is a practical requirement when delegating. He says that this reduces the risk of misunderstanding. Once expectations are set, have your team members reiterate the problem, and the outcome to you, in their own words. Pay close attention, and offer any corrections as needed. Glen affirms that this will establish trust and identify your risk. Transferring ownership empowers the subordinate.
Make sure to monitor the progress, and evaluate the effectiveness of the project. If necessary, refine the work streams, but give your delegate the opportunity to work through the problem. Expectation setting is the way to keep the project on track.
The principles that Glen Wakeman identifies in his article, are based on his more than two-decade management background at GE. As the CEO/Founder of LaunchPad Holdings, Glen is dedicated to helping businesses succeed.