Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I wish I knew who first brought this to my attention; I am eternally grateful. I would credit the author if I knew who it was - they're very smart. This is a great mentoring conversation to have.

Delegation is something done badly just about everywhere. It's hard to delegate among family and friends; it's expected at work and expected to not go well. Part of bad delegation is not clearly understanding the level of responsibility being handed off. Managers forget to say; people forget to ask.

Delegation is not about letting go of the final sign off. I can completely delegate getting the car cleaned (where, when, by whom, how) and yet still pay for it. My manager can delegate a project to me but I still will need his signature even if all the decisions are mine.

Level 1: I do it myself.  No help. No input. My brain and strength alone. 

Level 2: I do it but some folks need to give me input. I may not take the input at the end but I will listen because I asked for it. Maybe I will even  hand off a small part for someone else to do. I'm busy browning the chicken so can you chop the onions for the meal I'm making (that your input - chicken or shrimp - has already influenced).

Level 3: We do it together. ha! in what universe does that work? The decision must be made and if we all keep debating the choices I'm never going to pick a solution. Someone always owns the final word.

Level 4: You do it with input from me. My personal favourite... backseat driving :-) Which is not, of course, true delegation so ignore that example. Really, it's your final decision but I will attempt to shape the outcome as I'm giving up the ownership to you but not letting go all the way... (I should write a whole post on level 4: Learning to pry the "delegater's" fingers further off the project. Post a comment if you agree...)

Level 5: You do it. Enough said

Do you know your level of authority across your projects?

hmmm.... do I?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes I think you should do a whole post on Level 4.