“Great leaders properly and easily delegate, poor leaders make delegation harder than it is.”
Once upon a time a brand new hotel employee was asked to clean the elevators and report back to his supervisor once the task had been completed.
The end of the day came and the employee never reported back. The supervisor simply assumed that like the rest of those he had hired that the employee had quit.
However, after three days the supervisor bumped into the new employee. He was inside one of the elevators cleaning it. The supervisor, in a accusatory voice asked, “You surely haven’t been cleaning these elevators for three days, have you?”
“Yes sir, I have,” said the employee. “This is a huge job, and I’m not done yet. Do you realize there are over forty-five of them, two on each floor, and sometimes they are not even there..”
Think about that for a minute… 🙂
Have you ever wondered what went wrong when you delegated something you expected to get done to your standards, but didn’t?
Great leaders properly and easily delegate, poor leaders make delegation harder than it is. Most of the problems with delegation can be attributed to one of three things that leaders fail to do.
1. They fail to provide the proper training. This is probably the number one reason delegation never happens in the first place – leaders don’t want to take the time to train.
It is also the biggest reason that those who are being being delegated to, fail. Like in the story above, if the supervisor had provided training, there is a good chance the new employee would have realized there are only two elevators that needed cleaning.
You can’t throw someone you lead out of the nest and expect them to fly without providing training on how to fly. Only birds have that kind of instinct.
2. They fail to be clear on tasks and expectations. Often times when leaders delegate they know what they want and they assume others should know that too. They can’t read your mind anymore than you can read theirs.
The best way to overcome this obstacle is to write out the tasks and expectations and provide that to the person you are delegating to. The process of writing will ensure that you don’t miss anything.
In the story above, the supervisor should have been clear with his expectations. Providing a time frame in which he expected the elevators to be clean would have created a signal to the new hotel employee that something was off.
3. They fail to support, encourage and praise. In the story above, if the supervisor had followed up sooner and more often, it would have become apparent that the new employee was cleaning the same elevator more than once!
Remember that normally, when there is a failure in delegation, it always more about you than the person you delegated to 😉
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