Monday, October 02, 2006

The Fine Art of Delegating

For Canadian entrepreneurs and corporate executives alike, the biggest challenge is delegating: getting more time for strategic focus by handing off important tasks to others.

To my mind, there are two issues involved in delegating: developing the trust required to hand off to others, and then communicating your objectives and expectations well enough to ensure the project will be successful. Both of these are hard to do.

California-based business pundit and professor Tony Alessandra believes that the ability to delegate sets leaders apart from followers. In a recent newsletter, he offered six tips for delegation success.

Find the right person for the project. If none exists, find the most capable person and train him or her well.

Delegate authority and accountability. Don’t delegate a task and then tie a person's hands. If you have to minutely supervise the project, you have not truly delegated it.

Make the task perfectly clear. Answer all questions promptly and thoroughly.

Agree on a deadline. Don’t impose a deadline; determine a mutually acceptable date.

Review and coach. Agree on a system for progress reports. Periodically review the person's progress and offer additional coaching if needed.

Lay the groundwork for more delegation. As you gain experience you will find more opportunities to delegate. Train more people to assist you and you'll have more time to do what you do best.

Learn more about Tony Alessandra at

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