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Sandler Training in Calgary | Calgary, AB

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“They won’t do it like I would.”

“It would take me longer to explain how to do it that it would for me to do it.”

“They won’t do it right.” (or “correctly)

Any leader who hasn’t uttered one of those phrases can stop reading. For the other 98.7% of us, keep reading 😊

Effective delegation is crucial if we are going to realize both our business and personal visions. Where we go offside as leaders is buying into the head trash that “they have to do it like us.”

The mindset “the outcome is important the method is not” is the first step in creating an effective delegation process to free up our mental calories for working on strategic-level priorities. Yes, there are part of a business, like an assembly line, where the method is important to achieving an outcome; however, those methods are increasingly automated, which doesn’t require delegation.

Also, accept that our team member who will perform the task we’re delegating won’t do it our way. In fact, that’s wonderful. They may figure out a more effective or efficient method to achieve the same outcome that we would, which will payoff to them, us and our business.

In most delegation contexts, less is more. Using these five check points as a framework we could delegate most of the tasks that we don’t need to be doing.

  • Clearly define outcomes (e.g. “so when this task/project is complete it will look like…)
  • Clearly define a deadline (Thursday at 3pm is significantly more helpful than “10 days from now in the afternoon”)
  • Clearly establish check-in points (like camps on a mountain climb to ensure our team member is on pace)
  • Clearly establish what resources our team member needs to achieve objective before they start
  • Pre-mortem (discuss what could go sideways and how our team member will address those issues without needing to involve us)

There are plenty of cliches about advanced planning, or the lack there of, but suffice to say, the more we can do in advance to support our team member the less time we’ll need to spend supporting them while they are performing the task.

When we give up control of the process, but provide clear guardrails and support in advance, we end up with a happier, more productive team who might even accelerate our business based on new methods for getting to the same results.

Until next time… go lead.

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