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Complex Thoughts

Delegation

Delegation is an ethical responsibility you owe to yourself, to those with whom you work, and to your organization. A leader cannot do everything for an organization. There are only so many hours in a day, so many tasks one person can do. Besides, an uninvolved member soon becomes an apathetic, unmotivated member who most likely drops out of the group.
A good leader learns to use the skill of delegation to help the organization to its fullest potential. These are the benefits of delegation:

Leaders

Members

Organization

  • Allows time for planning
  • Allows time for organizing
  • Allows time for non-organizational pursuits
  • Teaches valuable lessons in how to work with and develop others
  • Builds trust
  • Enables the leader to multiply himself/herself
  • Enables the leader to work smart and not hard
  • Encourages open communication
  • Motivates
  • Builds self esteem
  • Encourages creative problem solving
  • Stimulates initiative
  • Trains future leaders
  • Builds trust
  • Builds morale
  • Facilitates communication
  • Stimulates creativity
  • Allows significant contributions
  • Promotes perpetuation
  • Opens new avenues of creativity
  • Promotes increased productivity
  • Improves overall efficiency and effectiveness
  • Creates team enthusiasm

 

OBSTACLES TO DELEGATION

Leaders will not delegate because…
  • They believe the “I can do it better and faster myself” fallacy
  • They do not know which tasks to delegate
  • They are afraid people won’t like them if they ask for help
  • They lack confidence in the member’s ability
  • They fear a loss of control
  • They are unwilling to let members make decisions and be held accountable
    for those decisions
  • They get personal satisfaction from doing the task themselves
Members will not accept delegation because…
  • They find it easier to ask the leader than to make a decision by themselves
  • They do not understand their own level of authority
    

WHY DELEGATION FAILS

  • The process is incomplete. Responsibility for the results have been distributed without granting sufficient authority or creating a relationship of accountability.
  • The leader refuses, consciously or unconsciously, to delegate. The obstacles to delegation are never overcome by the leader or the member.
  • Delegation is blocked by incomplete or ineffective communication. The leader thinks that he/she has delegated a task, but the member is unaware that delegation has occurred.
     

FOUR LEADERSHIP ATTRIBUTES NEEDED FOR DELEGATION

  • A leader must be receptive to other people’s ideas.
  • A leader must be prepared for and willing to accept mistakes.
  • A leader must forego the luxury of blowing his/her top.
  • A leader must exercise great powers of self restraint.
   

FIVE STEPS IN THE PROCESS OF SUCCESSFUL DELEGATION

  • Policy guidelines must be clearly stated.
  • Jobs must be defined.
  • Goals must be set and agreed upon by members. People support what they
    help to create.
  • Two-way communication must be established between the leader and the member.
  • Feedback systems must be established through effective meetings during the in-between meeting times.
   

FIVE WAYS TO DELEGATE

  • Appoint someone.
  • Assign it to a committee.
  • Ask for volunteers in a meeting.
  • Break up the job into logical parts and spread the work to a few people.
  • Find out your members’ interests, skills and time commitments — then find a task to suit them.
   

CAUTION

  • Don’t overload any one person. Spread the responsibilities and get everyone involved.
  • Don’t delegate only those tasks you dislike or that are very simple.
  • Don’t overlook the need to constantly train your members.
  • Don’t look upon delegation as a sign of weakness.
  

ADAPTED FROM COUGAR CLUES, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA–MORRIS,

AND THUNDAR BOLTS, NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.