DELEGATION & How to Delegate Using a Simple Questionnaire & a 7-Step Process

The Best Managers Share Authority. Now It Teaches Them to Delegate Using This 7-Step Process by Michael Schneider, Inc. Magazine, 7/22/19.

The best Google managers empower their teams and do not micromanage.

This idea came in at number two on Google’s top 10 list of effective manager traits. If you haven’t heard the story, Google in an effort to prove that bosses weren’t necessary, ended up finding the exact opposite — managers not only matter, but they can significantly influence the performance of their teams. But, they didn’t stop there. After realizing that managers were important, they embarked on a quest to uncover all the behaviors that made some more effective than others. The initiative became known as Project Oxygen

To help its managers determine the work that they should delegate, Google asks leaders to:

  • Look at the goals. What is the end-game and what does the team need to do to achieve its goals. Break down the work and identify parts that can be delegated.
  • Look at yourself. In which areas do you have strengths and responsibilities, and what should you delegate?
  • Recognize the right person for the work. Take a look at your team’s skills and ask yourself who has clear strengths in the areas you want to delegate. Use your employees like “chess pieces” and strategically assign work that plays to their abilities. In the process, you’ll not only empower but also increase the overall productivity of the team.

…Google has broken down the process into these seven steps:

1. Give an overview of the work.

Discuss the scope and significance of the project. Tell your employee why you selected them and the impact that the work has on the business.

2. Describe the details of the new reasonability.

Discuss your desired outcome and clarify expectations. Tell the employee what you expect, but not how to do it. It’s essential to give them the autonomy and freedom to learn and grow from the experience — not just follow orders.

3. Solicit questions, reactions, and suggestions.

The conversation should be a two-way street. Remember, the ultimate goal is to put your employee in the driver seat. Make sure they have all the information they need to assume ownership, accountability, and meet expectations.

4. Listen to the delegatee’s comments and respond empathetically.

This is new and uncharted territory for your employee. Ease their anxiety and create a psychologically safe environment where the employee feels comfortable voicing concerns, discussing hesitations, and coming to you for help.

5. Share how this impacts the team.

So employees understand the importance of their work and prioritize accordingly, make sure that you connect the dots and explain how the task supports other team initiatives.

6. Be encouraging.

Employees won’t take full responsibility until you encourage them to. Make sure they understand that you’re trusting them to deliver results.

7. Establish checkpoints, results, deadlines, and ways to monitor progress.

Although they have the autonomy, make sure employees know the critical milestones they need to hit and what success look like to gauge progress.

Delegating isn’t the easiest thing to do. But, you have to look at it as an investment in your employees. They learn, and you pick up more bandwidth to tackle other things — everyone wins.

Read more at …

EQUIPPING & 8 Ideas to Help Leaders Move from Being Regarded as Experts to Regarded as Equippers

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D. and the 2017 Missional Coaches Cohort, 2/1/17.

  • Create an organizational chart that includes each area of ministry.
    • Pastor, Director(s), Volunteer Leader roles, etc.
    • Identify and write down the positional names first, then add actual names of people. If you have not yet identified the desired positions or people, then begin to pray for clarity on roles and potential leaders for those roles. Pray for your current leaders.
    • Create (and have ready in writing) expectations and core values for the individual roles to have leaders lead. This brings value to the leader.
    • You become a better leader the more you can share the responsibilities of the your particular areas of ministry. You also raise the “leadership lid” as you are able to do what you can to empower/coach others to lead.
  • Take an intentional DAWG (Day Alone With God)
    • So something that fills your tank, gets you alone with God in his presence. (Go to a park, a hike, bike ride, to a lake, to the pool, etc) You get the point, do what you enjoy.
    • Take a day monthly. Journal, read a book/Bible, pray, Listen, etc
  • Begin to meet with 6-10 potential leaders regularly to move from expert to an
    equipper. (Dan Reiland’s 5 Elements to Empower Your Leaders summarized below.)

    • 1 time per month for about 1.5hrs for up to 1 year. Be intentional to talk about
      vision, core values, and maybe do a book study, and/or leadership lifter/training.
      Then recruit a whole new group of potential leaders and repeat the process.
      During this process there are 5 key areas to help equip and empower other
    • “Trust with responsibility”
      • Like a teenager learning to drive, handing over the keys to a new leader is
        a risk. But without risk, a leader can’t feel the weight of their responsibility
        and your trust.
      • Mistakes are likely, but growth occurs in that process!
    • “Train your leaders for competency”
      • “In the same way you would not let your teens drive the family car without driver’s education, your leaders need training too. Even the best and brightest of your leaders need training in order to become better leaders.
      • The training needs to be consistent, relevant, and practical. It must also embrace the cultural values of your church.
      • Global Leadership Summit, Exponential, or other Conferences if budget permits, Web-based video (such as TedTalks or Right Now Media) or leadership podcasts if budget is tight.
      • After you finish a training, plan a specific time to debrief and evaluate the their experience, what they learned, or how they were challenged. Find specific ways to apply their experiences.
    • “Give them authority”
      • Give authority (decision-making, teaching, financial responsibility, etc) equal to the responsibility.
      • Encourage an atmosphere of boldness by encouraging risks (and
        therefore mistakes). Progress is prioritized over perfection.
      • Sharing authority opens the way for others to lead.
    • “Communicate Clear Expectations”
      • Leaders need guidelines and clear expectations. Job descriptions, goals
        and cultural values of the church make it possible for them to be
        successful. When a leader does not know what is expected, they can’t
      • While uncommon, on rare occasion it is necessary to remove
        empowerment. Perhaps the leader refuses to operate within the
        guidelines, and values or cannot keep up with the needed competencies.
        This conversation always goes easier when clear expectations were
        previously set. It’s always a tough decision to remove empowerment, but on rare occasion it needs to be done.
    • “Love and believe in each one for maximum potential”
      • “When Jesus shared His authority with the disciples, it wasn’t a
        mechanical or hierarchical thing. He mentored them, invested time with them, and loved them. He saw through the mess and believed the best. Jesus had faith in the twelve, even though their faith often faltered. Jesus believed in them before they fully believed in themselves.”
      • We have the privilege and responsibility to “see” potential leadership in those we lead, and often before they see it in themselves.

© Bob Whitesel DMin PhD & #PowellChurch

LEADERSHIP & Do you struggle with leading? If so, start small (the Jethro Principle as a tactic)

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 8/21/15.

A student once mentioned that he, like many students I suspect, lacked confidence in his ability to lead.  I want to share his words here (anonymously) as an end-of-week thought and encouragement.   Here is what he said:

“I really lack confidence in myself and that is something that keeps me help back. I do not see myself as having the abilities or skill set to be a leader. That is something that I really have had to work on. I am much better follower and also good at working on my own. My wife would say that I work best when I am by myself, but this is also something that is very negative in my life. I tend then to overwhelm myself and not let myself get help from others…. How do I get past what I cannot do and see what I can do? I only have so much time and money to work with. My funds are extremely limited and working full-time outside hurts what I can do to work with the church and take the teens to the next level. Any advice?”

He shared a very important question (that many of us probably have).  The key may be in several areas.

He said, “I really lack confidence in myself and that is something that keeps me help back. I do not see myself as having the abilities or skill set to be a leader. That is something that I really have had to work on. I am much better follower and also good at working on my own.”

Yet, when God calls someone to be a leader, that call is by definition to “lead” others into doing what the leader is doing.  Thus, leaders do not do everything themselves.  Instead we follow Jesus’ example and look for “potential” leaders (less than a half-dozen) that we can disciple.  We then ask them to lead a group of 10-12 others.  This is sometimes referred to as the “Jethro Principle” which Jethro shared with Abraham (see Exodus 4:1-15).  Though you begin small with just a cadre of leaders, you all can see how this quickly expands exponentially.

And so, leadership by the very principles means “leading” others.  And, we do this by empowering a small group to do what we are doing, not trying to do everything ourselves but encouraging them to then empower a small group of their own.

Yet over the years I have noticed that everyone has a different number of people to which they can (and should) be delegating (probably based upon their “traits”).  I’ve found that the higher up the ladder you go in leadership the fewer people to whom you can usually delegate effectively (but usually no one should delegate to more than 12 people – and Jethro would suggest not more than 10).

So, I would say if anyone is shy or uncertain about their leadership ability, that they start small.  You could start by looking for emerging leaders who show an ability and a passion to lead.  Then you could take them under your wing, coaching and delegating to them to do what you are doing.  Giving them a task to do helps them see discipleship means service.  Then they will start to develop into “managers,” who will learn from you as a leader and will use this knowledge to serve others.

As Abraham discovered you must start small … with just a handful of people.  And, it is by delegating and coaching (i.e. mentoring) a dozen or less others, and then asking them to impact a dozen or so other lives, that discipleship occurs that is more personal, productive … and expansive (remember how Abraham would eventually lead many).

So let us remember not to be intimidated by the task before us (like Moses was once).  Rather, if we follow Jethro’s advice and start with a small group of 10-12, and they then each disciple another 10-12, your will have emerging … but exponential impact.

DELEGATION & 8 Habits Of Leaders Who Know How To Delegate #FastCompanyMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel; “Most organizations, including churches, stay small because the leader only delegates to a handful of workers who she/he then closely monitors. Because research shows that a leader can only delegate effectively to about 8-10 people this results in 8 to 10 people who run a church and only about 80% more attending (the 20% worker to attendee ratio). This choke-law, whereby a small group controls a church, may be confirmed in that 75 attendees is the average size of a church in America. To break this constraint, the pastor has to move away from being the sole-proprietor of the organization and delegate to 7-8 mid-level manager/delegators. Read this Fast Company article for insight into becoming better delegator.”

Read more at …

INDIGENOUS & Why Terms Etic / Emic Remind Us That Locals Are Best at Reaching Their Culture

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 7/11/15.

A student tendered this observation,

“An important truth I have learned, both from reading about mission work and our involvement with partnering with work in the Dominican Republic, is that indigenous workers are better at reaching their own people. Not only better–as in more effective, but also cheaper.”

This is an important missiological concept to understand.  And there are some terms missiologists use to describe this: etic and emic.  Let me explain.

When a person is part of a culture, we say she or he has an emic relationship with that culture.  When we relate to a culture, but are not really part of it, it is called an etic relationship.

These are missiological terms, but effective leaders will become familiar with them. They are shorthand terminology for sharing knowledge among leaders of outreach work.  In fact, you may not have realized it yet, but the Church Growth Movement is part of the School of Intercultural Studies (formerly School of World Mission) and practitioners of Church Growth are best described as North American misssiologists.

Thus, not surprisingly another student asked me a question about etic verses emic missiological intentions.  Here is what she said:

“I agree with what you said that indigenous people are best reached by one of their own, but what happens to those who sense a call to minister to these people? What do you think?”

Organix_final.aiI know how this person feels.  I am one of those people who feel a sense of call to minister to Gen. X and Millennials (I even wrote a book on Millennial Leadership called ORGANIX.  In fact I took this online test to see which generation I identified.  And, I identified almost equally with Generation X and the Millennials.  Check out the survey here:

Yet, while I relate to Gen. X (I have four daughters and two son-in-laws of this generation) I will always have an etic relationship with it.  That is important for missiologists to understand.  I will never have an indigenous ministry.  I can mentor others, but I must be willing to always step aside.

This is the altruistic decision that every missionary must be prepared to undertake.  In Mission Schools they often say if you are not willing to step aside and let emic missionaries take over and lead, then you are not called to mission work.  It is a hard decision to make, but requisite.

TIME MANAGEMENT & Use ‘The 10-Minute Rule’ to Revolutionize Your Productivity

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “The 10-minute rule involves setting a 10 minute timer (typically on a smart phone) for any ‘to do’ task you undertake. If you can’t get it done in 10 minutes: it should: 1) either be delegated or 2) be broken down into smaller tasks. Learn how to focus your energy and productivity with his helpful Inc. article on the 10 minute rule.”

Read more at …

DELEGATION & How to Work Less and Get More Done

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Read an overview of Jeff Sutherland’s book The art of doing twice the work, In half the time (2014). And, you’ll discover lessons such as:

1) Keep meetings short, only 15 minutes and stop the two hour meetings searching for blame.

2) Keep teams small, five people or less. Then let them report to the bigger team their work. They will work faster and more efficiently.

More great insights by the author of a new, seminal book.”

Read more at …

LEADERSHIP & Why Great Leaders Are More Risk Averse Than You Think #IncMagazine

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “From this Inc. Magazine article you will learn that great leaders take many small risks, instead of taking large risks. The three lessons are: 1) Cut expenses, not employees, 2) take small risks, not large risks that might sink the company (per Jim Collins in ‘Great by Choice,’ and 3) recruit a great team and delegate.”

Read more at …