The skill of delegation is the way to distinguish the weak or new manager from a highly skilled manager. What and how someone delegates tells a lot about their experience and skills. It comes down to confidence in one’s self, trust in others, and how you hand-off and coach the person you delegated to. A great leader will delegate the right things, to the right person, at the right time, and with the right instructions, coaching and follow up. It is important that you delegate and not micro-manage.
It is also important that when you delegate you pass on the responsibility for the task but keep the ownership. The ridiculous perspective that “I can do it faster or better” than someone else, is the talk of a new or weak manager. Of course, you might be able to do it better, but your job is to grow the people not to remain the bottleneck as the company expands.
Following is an example of delegation when a leader uses trust, openness and honesty:
Michael had recently hired a new VP of Marketing, who we’ll call Gordon. He had come into Michael’s office with three new advertising concepts for him to review and select the best one. Gordon asked which concept Michael would like to choose. Michael told him that it was his decision, which advertising concept did he choose? Gordon looked at Michael inquisitively, and asked why he wouldn’t tell him his decision. Michael told him that he had hired him to be the VP Marketing and to make those decisions. If Michael was going to make the Marketing decisions he wouldn’t need a VP Marketing. Michael also told Gordon that if he had made this decision, I couldn’t hold the VP Marketing responsible and accountable. This is a key message. If you hire good people, let them run.