Learning to Let Go

You glance at the clock — it's 1:00 p.m. already. And what have you accomplished with your day so far? Was most of your morning spent on performing such top-level duties as setting objectives and developing policies? Or was it wasted on routine tasks that should have been delegated to someone else? The benefits of effective delegation are many: improved productivity, increased staff motivation and morale, and reduced stress levels. Unfortunately, many managers limit their own effectiveness by avoiding or mismanaging delegation.

The objective of delegation is to get the job done by someone else so your time can be devoted to higher-level tasks. It also is an effective means for developing staff, providing them with new skills and enhancing their value to the organization. To delegate effectively, you need to make sure that the delegate knows what you want, has the authority to achieve it and knows how to do it. There are, of course, obstacles that can obstruct delegation. Some are outside a manager's control: lack of resources and organizational instability. The most common obstacles, however, can be dealt with. Examples are:

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