TheArt of Delegating
Delegating responsibility (the art of spreading the work around) is an indispensable
concept which must be grasped by any leader who expects to be successful.
DELEGATION is important because it:
Allows more people to be actively involved.
Distributes work load.
Motivates members by giving them value and importance.
Helps organizations run more smoothly.
WHAT andWHEN to delegate:
Matters that keep repeating themselves.
Minor decisions made most frequently.
Details that take up large chunks of time.
When you feel someone else has particular qualifications which would suit the
When someone expresses interest in the task.
WHAT andWHENNOT TO delegate:
Situations where you have to change someone’s behavior.
A decision that involves someone else’s morale.
The “Hot Potato.”
Something that involves trust or confidence.
Something you yourself would not be willing to do (the menial work).
METHODS for delegating:
Ask for volunteers—interest and belief in something is one of the greatest moti-
vators for success.
Suggest—someone you feel would be good for the task. Silence in response to a
request for volunteers does NOT necessarily mean lack of interest. Often, a per-
son won’t volunteer because she/he lacks self-confidence.
Assign—the task to someone. The person can always decline.
Spread the good tasks around—‘good’ jobs give people status and value. Make
sure the same people don’t always get the good tasks.
GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE DELEGATION
A. CHOOSE the appropriate people by interviewing and placing your members care-
fully. Consider their time, interest, and capabilities. Specific responsibility to be
delegated to a particular person must be appropriate for the growth or develop-
ment needs of that person at the time.
B. EXPLAINwhy the person (s) was (were) selected for this task.
C. DELEGATE segments that make sense; not bits and pieces of a task.
D. DISCUSS the task at hand. Discuss ideas; mutually set possible goals and objec-
tives. Whenever possible, give those who will be responsible for carrying out a
program a voice in the decision-making. Do not lower standards: Don’t insult your
E. DEFINE clearly the responsibilities being delegated to each person. Explain what
is expected of the person (s) and what the bounds of authority are.
F. GIVE accurate and honest feedback. People want to know how they are doing and
they deserve to know. This is both an opportunity for giving satisfaction and en-
couraging growth. Allow for risk-taking and mistakes.
G. SUPPORT your officers and chairpersons by sharing information, knowledge, and
plans with them. It is incredible howmany errors are made simply because of lack
of information. Share their failures as well as successes.
H. REALLY delegate. Most responsible people do not appreciate someone looking
over their shoulder, kibitzing or taking back parts of their assignment before they
have a chance to do it. As the leader, it’s hard for you to let go. You want to be a
doer—or you feel you can’t just throw them out there to sink or swim. Let them
do the job! Delegating does not eliminate work; it simply changes it. As you dele-
gate appropriately, a multiplier effect occurs: the time spent doing a job can be
spent enabling several people to do numerous jobs.
I. STRESS the importance of evaluation: You must not overlook the need to evaluate
and measure the extent to which your actions conformed to your plans, if the
plans went well, or if the original plans were appropriate and worthwhile.
NOTE: Your members are your greatest resource. Let them create; let them put their
creativity into action!
EFFECTIVE DELEGATIONSAVES TIME BUT INITIALLY IT REQUIRES TIME
A. Delegation is the process of entrusting part of the work of programs and
administrative assignment to others.
B. Three Inescapable Features of Delegating
Assigning Tasks (Activities or Objectives)
a. Take the time to instruct
Granting Authority (Rights)
a. “Deputize” with authority to make decisions.
Creating an Obligation (Attitudes)
These features are like a three-legged stool; each depends on the others to
support the whole, and no two can stand alone.
DETERRENTS TO DELEGATION
A. WHY DON’T I DELGATE BETTER?
I can do it better myself.
I can’t trust my committee workers.
I’m reluctant to take a risk.
I don’t have time to involve others.
I can’t delegate something I don’t know how to do myself.
I feel my workers resent being followed up on in their work.