Leadership : Servant Leader delegate and is committed to the growth of people

David Wee is Founder & CEO of DW Associates and the Asia Speakers bureau. He is the primary developer of Entrepreneurial leadership and creating new space in a crowded market™. 

Email david.wee@pacific.net.sg and website http://dwassociates.blogspot.com/ 

Learn how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of people don't do well simply because they major in minor things

The ability to be clear on delegation is a sign of good management. Managers delegate work not to just relieve their workload, but to allow the employees they supervise to grow professionally.

Effective delegation is a two-way discussion and understanding. Be clear about the delegated task, give employee(s) an opportunity to ask questions, monitor progress and offer assistance as needed. The servant leader has a deep sense of empathy and acceptance of each person. Use effective delegation to benefit both yourself and the person to whom you delegate.

Why you should Delegate?

You free yourself to run your business and see the big picture.

    1. You develop your employees and make them more valuable.
    2. You spread accountability to encourage a stronger, more resilient team.
    3. You can respond faster to changes in your business when you can rely on nimble employees to take charge.

Good delegation saves you time, develops your people, grooms a successor, and motivates. Poor delegation will cause you frustration, demotivates, confuses the other person, and fails to achieve the task or purpose itself.

Delegation is perhaps the single most difficult skill for new managers to develop.  Proper delegation offers the manager the opportunity to grow and develop individuals who can then be recognized as future leaders of the organization.

Delegating is nothing but “Internal Outsourcing”. The main purpose of delegating is “Time Management” . . . so that you can concentrate on big . . . main assignments, assignments which need your attention. But what can you delegate, is an important question. The opinion that “One shall not delegate what they themselves cannot do”. . . means you can delegate only those things . . . assignments which you . . . yourself are comfortable in doing.

A simple delegation rule is the acronym SMART. It's a quick checklist for proper delegation. Delegated tasks must be:

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Agreed
    • Realistic
    • Time bound

What to Delegate?

Study what kind of job you intend to delegate. Plan how you are going to present the assignment, including your requirements, parameters, authority level, checkpoints, and expectations. Servant leader use persuasion, rather than rely on their positional authority, in getting things done.

Don't delegate what you are not able to do. Don't delegate what you can eliminate. If you shouldn't be doing an activity, then perhaps you shouldn't be giving the activity away to others. Eliminate it.

Delegate routine activities, even though you don't want to:

    1. Fact-finding assignments
    2. Preparation of rough drafts of reports
    3. Answering routine questions, problem analysis and suggested actions
    4. Collection of data for reports, filing, counting, sorting, routine reports
    5. Making minor decisions

Delegate things that aren't part of your core competency. For small businesses, these include accounting, web site design, deliveries, hardware upkeep, software help, graphic design, travel arrangements, patenting, legal issues and even HR functions such as payroll.

Some things you can't delegate:

    1. Performance reviews, discipline, and firing
    2. An emergency or short-term task where there's no time to explain or train
    3. Morale problems
    4. A presentation to investors about your company's financial performance and future plans
    5. A job no one else in the company is qualified to do

Things to keep in mind . . . while delegating

Andrew Carnegie once said, "The secret of success is not in doing your own work but in recognizing the right man to do it."

Delegate the objective, not the procedure. Make sure the standards and the outcome are clear. What needs to be done, when should it be finished and to what degree of quality or detail? Outline the desired results, not the methodology. Ask people to provide progress reports. Set interim deadlines to see how things are going.

Delegate to the right person. Don't always give tasks to the strongest, most experienced or first available person. Spread delegation around and give people new experiences as part of their training.
Obtain feedback from employees to ensure they feel they're being treated appropriately. A simple "How's it going with that new project?" might be all that's needed. True listening builds strength in other people.

Be sure to delegate the authority along with the responsibility. Don't make people come back to you for too many minor approvals. Trust people to do well and don't look over their shoulders or check up with them along the way, unless they ask. Be prepared to trade short term errors for long term results. When you finish giving instructions, the last thing to ask is, "How can I help you to do your job better?" They'll tell you. Give praise and feedback at the end of the project, and additional responsibilities.
The biggest barrier to delegating is overcoming the entrepreneur's curse: insisting on doing it all. That's a fatal error that prevents start-ups from growing into viable companies.

Here's how to tell if you're digging yourself into a hole. When a friend asks, "How was work today?" Do you talk about how much work you did? Or do you focus on the work that you coached others to do?
The servant leader has a deep sense of awareness of himself and the environment around him.

Copyright 2008 David Wee

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