July 30, 2008

Delegation

Posted in Time management tagged , , , , , , , , , at 9:30 pm by andreak64

I have a problem with delegation. Not with having things delegated to me, but with delegating things to my employees or to other people who should handle things I don’t have time for or the expertise to handle. I have this awful sense of “here, just let me do it” or “that’s okay, I’ll look into it and take care of it” that often mires me in problems and projects I really have no time to deal with.

I can mostly blame myself for the delegation dilemma. It’s been easier to keep tasks for myself because they required specialized knowledge or software authorizations my staff didn’t have (and were tightly controlled by IT staff). Most of the time I get assigned (i.e., delegated) a new project by my boss, I figure out a new routine or process, then I continue to do it for eternity. The new projects and routines continue to pile on and therein lies my problem…

I’ve never thought to delegate routine tasks to my employees nor have I thought of using delegation as a tool to develop them into higher-skilled, more knowledgeable employees. The current arrangement leads them to assume I’ll handle everything really important while they do same old thing year in and year out. That’s poor management on my part. And the really dumb thing about the new routines I develop is that I type up step-by-step instructions for myself, so I don’t forget how to do them if they occur monthly or annually. So I really have no excuse not to train someone to takeover a task, because the training documentation already exists…

I recently read a fabulous book that spoke to the heart and soul of my problems. The title is It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor, by Rebecca Shaumbaugh. Her theory of why women don’t advance to the executive suite isn’t because others hold them back (the glass ceiling), but because they hold themselves back through hidden behaviors (the sticky floor). She says there are 7 sticky floors, one of which is being a perfectionist and not delegating tasks to others. I’m guilty as charged! Delegation is the solution to freeing myself from that sticky floor. 

As busy as I’ve been lately, I realize now I should spend my time figuring out new projects and developing new routines, then figuring out which staff are best suited for training so they can take them over, allowing me to spend time developing more new tasks and routines…

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1 Comment »

  1. Mollie said,

    nicely written and great insights!


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