9 February 2010

The Art of Delegation

Most managers appreciate that delegation is a vital skill to enhancing their effectiveness. Yet so many managers are unable (and sometimes unwilling) to put their appreciation into practice.

I believe that delegation is so important that I am going to dedicate my next 8 blogs to the topic – taking you on a paint-by-numbers journey through the art of delegation.  

I know myself the freedom that effective delegation has given me to focus on new opportunities and growing my business. Over the last 17 years I have studied delegation as a key ingredient of time management. I have a tried and tested approach that will not only make you a better manager but also bring a new sense of calm and control to your life. For more on this don’t miss out on an exciting announcement I will be making right here in the next week that will give you the opportunity to become a Master of the Art.

For now though I would like to leave you with this thought: If you have found yourself working on low-priority, low-value activities try asking yourself, ‘what hourly rate is this work worth?’  If it’s worth less than the rate you’re earning, or can earn, look for ways to outsource or delegate it. While you do work that’s worth a lesser amount, you’re effectively earning that lower figure (or you’re a very expensive resource to your organisation). So unless there is some other benefit you gain by involvement in the activity it might be a question worth asking.

I’m looking forward to carrying on this topic over the next few weeks, and to announcing the great opportunity that will enhance even the worst delegator’s delegation skills!

9 thoughts on “The Art of Delegation”

  1. Heike Miller says:

    I agree. Since appointing a project manager and a team of Virtual Assistants for my online business I feel a sense of great relief. Now I can focus on creating different income streams and other profit making without worrying about the nitty gritty. You don’t know how good it feels before you haven’t tried it. :)

    1. Robyn Pearce says:

      That’s great to hear, Heike! You’re so right – I’ve recently hired Sanchia to ‘run’ with me – the sense of relief when we know someone else will keep the ball rolling when we’re working on other long-term developments is huge, isn’t it.

      Be sure to keep abreast of my upcoming blogs over the next couple of weeks because I will really be focusing on this issue. I will also be making an announcement this week that will not only enhance people’s delegation skills but also help those around us to get onboard and learn how to delegate also!

  2. My delegation curve ball:

    I’ve just come from a review where I was told (as an aside) that I take on too much stuff! One area that was identified was that my name appears beside too many items in the minutes of meetings. I’m curious how I can delegate tasks from my desk, but not in meetings. The principles might be the same, but the context seems to throw me. (any ideas would be appreciated)

    Alongside this I have a ‘snatcher’ – my PA. She will take stuff from me that I shouldn’t do – before I get the chance to delegate. That feels good too!

    1. Robyn Pearce says:

      Nigel, Hi!

      It’s great to hear from you. I am so familiar with the comment you have made. (Some of the comments below may be similar to some of the discussions we have had face to face, but will make my response general enough to be of value to others as well).

      Sometimes it is the most capable people who find it the hardest to delegate! However, I promise you that the benefits of loosening your grip on parts of the workload will enable you to GET a grip on the wider responsibilities of your role!

      For a start why don’t you try this: every time a piece of work comes to your desk ask yourself “is there someone else that can do this so I can get on with more meaningful tasks?”. If the job is something that stops you from getting on with those more meaningful things but there is nobody to give the lesser stuff to, then you need to look at upskilling someone around you who CAN take on that work in the future.

      For a broader approach, take a look at the people around you and start to think about whole work streams you can delegate to them. So rather than a small piece of individual work here and there, there may well be a whole area or file you can oversee someone else working on. You will free up more time for yourself and also empower those you work with by entrusting them with things you normally try and do yourself!

      I am positive that you will reap the benefits of delegating… you can always go back to dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s if it doesn’t work out. But I bet you won’t!

      p.s it sounds like your PA is already on board

  3. Delegation is something everyone needs to learn to do successfully.
    Once a task or position is delegated there must be trust in that person to carry it out to the best of their ability.
    Everyone makes mistakes so let them make some and learn from them, maintaining contact but also confidence in them to do the job, even if it may not be how you would have done it.
    Mutual trust is a huge aspect of successful delegation, I believe.

    1. Robyn Pearce says:

      Nicely put Winsome – thanks for your valuable contribution!

  4. Robyn Pearce says:

    Hi there everyone – Sanchia here, Robyn’s assistant. Robyn has gone sailing and to visit her new grandchild, and true to her recent series on delegation, she has asked me to stay abreast of any comments that come in while she is away.

    We had an email comment from Donna in Ontario, Canada. Donna commented that delegtaion is critical and noted that many entrepreneurs who have always “done it themselves” find it hard to let go.

    Donna was also kind enough to remind us that in our pursuit of better delegation skills we should use leverage a little more. Leverage is all about tapping into the skills of others around you. Just think of who you know, and who they know – and you might find you also have plenty of leverage. Donna herself has written a really interesting article on this topic, and we are just waiting for the electronic link to come through – expect it soon!

    Henry Ford said something like “I would rather have 1% of the work of 100 people, than 100% of the work of one person” I couldn’t agree more!

    Well, as grateful as I am to work with somebody who understands the importance of work/life balance, we can’t all be out sailing at once. Back to work for me!

  5. Hi, for some cause when i place your feed into google reader, it won?t get the job done. Can you give me the Rss hyperlink just to be positive I?m utilizing probably the most appropriate one?

    1. Robyn Pearce says:

      Hi Debby,

      Thanks for your comment. We are unsure why the feed is not working in google reader, it seems to be working for us. You could try the following link as an alternative however, good luck! http://feeds.feedburner.com/RobynPearce?format=xml

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