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

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Coaching leaders for 30 years and teaching leadership to graduate students for 24 years, I believe the greatest leadership weakness is the desire to “do it yourself” rather than delegate when someone else is better at doing it than you. To address this I created the 3-STRand leadership test.

Take this test to find your leadership style and who you should have on your team. Then read this article for application ideas.

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 … https://www.inc.com/michael-schneider/google-found-that-its-best-managers-share-authority-now-it-teaches-them-to-delegate-using-this-7-step-process.html

MANAGEMENT & Leadership: The difference according to Harvard prof. John Kotter

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel. The following is a helpful synopsis on this relationship penned by one of my LEAD 600 students:

John Kotter (2012, p. 71) includes six characteristics or “-abilities” for an effective vision. It is to be

  • Imaginable: Conveys a picture of what the future will look like.
  • Desirable: Appeals to the long-term interests of employees, customers, stockholders, and others who have a stake in the enterprise
  • Feasible: Comprises realistic, attainable goals.
  • Focused: Is clear enough to provide guidance in decision making
  • Flexible: Is general enough to allow individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions
  • Communicable: Is easy to communicate; can be successfully explained within five minutes

Kotter (2012) also notes that a vision is only one element in a larger system that includes strategies, plans, and budgets (p. 70). I like how he diagrams it (p. 71):

ViewAttachment?fileId=52654

This may be a good framework to use for anchoring vision in the context of our Leadership and Management Growth plans.

Grace & Peace, Larry

Kotter, J. (2012). Leading Change. [Kindle DX eBook version]. Retrieved from www.amazon.com

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LEADERSHIP & “It is about vision, but management is about solving problems”

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 9/22/17.

I ask my students the difference between leadership and management. Here are some quotes I’ve used to describe my thinking:

“Leadership can be more prestigious, more exciting and more visionary.  But management, that’s about solving problems”

 

“Management is what’s missing in our ministry leaders.”

 

“If you get kicked out of a church, it’s usually not because of bad theology or even poor leadership … but because of bad management.”

“Leadership is about vision, but management is about solving problems.”

MANAGEMENT & 8 Differences Between Strong & Weak Managers, Told Through Cartoons #ForbesMagazine

by John Youshaei, Forbes Magazine, 7/13/17.

1. Strong Managers Focus On Progress; Weak Managers Focus On Process

cartoon from EveryVowel.com

Yes, you need some process to keep employees in check. But when you have too much, you kill creativity. This is what ultimately drives the success of any organization. Don’t destroy it. Don’t be afraid to adjust or remove processes to help your team push the envelope. Encouraging progress, not process, is essential for your company’s long term growth…

3. Strong Managers Compete With Themselves; Weak Managers Compete With Others

cartoon from EveryVowel.com

4. Strong Managers Work For A Cause; Weak Managers Work For Applause

cartoon from EveryVowel.com

6. Strong Managers Respect Your Time; Weak Managers Waste It

cartoon from EveryVowel.com

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonyoushaei/2017/09/13/8-differences-between-strong-and-weak-managers-told-through-cartoons/#5cb1878723b0

cartoons humor comic

MANAGEMENT & 3 Management Styles That Belong In The Past

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel:  Research cited in this article describes facts I utilized to write the book “ORGANIX: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church” (Abingdon Press). For more about how leaders must apply management differently today with younger people, see excerpts from “ORGANIX” on this .wiki after reading the article.

MANAGEMENT & These 3 Management Styles Belong In The Past

by Paolo Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/3/16.

What assumptions am I making, that I’m not aware I am making, that give me what I see?

This powerful question, taken from Benjamin Zander’s book, The Art of Possibility, has been stuck in my mind for a while. Traditional management thinking is based around three fundamental assumptions.

  1. First, that organizations need a top-down approach to strategy and objective setting;
  2. Second, that the role of management and human resources is to measure/control what is being done to achieve objectives and to provide the corresponding incentives for performance or non-performance; and
  3. Third, that monetary incentives motivate people.

Accepting these assumptions, grounded in a dogmatic approach,

  1. means that CEOs and executives decide on behalf of people,
  2. managers control and HR professionals develop complex systems to measure performance,
  3. incentives and consequences.

Sounds like the same old story of carrot and sticks.

Beyond Carrots And Sticks

Yet scientific evidence has proven that what motivates knowledge workers is not longer carrots and sticks.

Take for example Daniel H. Pink’s book, Drive, which makes the case that autonomy, a sense of purpose and mastery are the real motivating factors, in addition – in my view – to a sense of fairness and trust.

Despite such breakthroughs in understanding human behavior, most organizations have still not changed their management systems or thinking accordingly. The problem is that we are using the management tools of the first industrial revolution, while we are entering the fourth industrial revolution. It’s the equivalent of still using a gramophone to listen to music. I suppose it is easier to change a smart phone than a mental model.

Even the fabled “20% time” granted by Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other Silicon Valley giants – originally designed to give knowledge workers greater job satisfaction, allowing them to use company time to tinker around with new ideas – is only change at the margins. In Google’s case it is now being discontinued, with others possibly following suite.

Overwhelmingly, even in the most innovative industries with the most “knowledge workers,” we tend to manage using the same methods that were put in place to keep tabs on factory workers during the industrial revolution.

Overcoming Resistance To Change

I would like to share a story which illustrates how we can move beyond our old, hopelessly out-of-date assumptions.

In 2012, when Professor Klaus Schwab, who founded the World Economic Forum some 41 years earlier, had the idea of disrupting his organization with a new model of community management, better suited for the Millennial generation, he met the same reaction from management that every leader faces when implementing change: resistance.

Like others who walked the road of change management before him, he set up a “skunk works,” an isolated team under his leadership, to make change happen.

Professor Schwab’s premise was simple: with half of the world’s population under the age of 27, we need a new and different way of engaging young people with decision-makers to shape their common future.

Read more at … http://www.forbes.com/sites/worldeconomicforum/2016/02/03/these-3-management-styles-belong-in-the-past/#d2b49913707b

MANAGEMENT & It is Not Just Necessary, But Must be Carefully Studied Too #Barth

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 12/12/15.

Karl Barth once said, “Only rarely, and then very carefully, can the church’s ordained leaders take their cues from secular leadership.”

And, that is exactly what lead me to studying management and the church.

I found so many well intentioned lay people trying to bring secular management principles into a spiritual organization.  Now, any organization needs to be managed, even a spiritual. But, lessons for managing her must be drawn from the study of church examples, and not just have secular principles imposed upon the church.  You must to look careful at churches and study them to see which principles apply, and which don’t.

That is why to this day I have a very active consulting practice where I am visiting and studying a different church almost every weekend.

And, thus is also why i have written 12 books, including book, “Growth by Accident, Death By Planning.”  This book among others was my way of saying what Barth said: that secular leadership principles, if not carefully used, will lead to “death by planning” :-O

MANAGEMENT HISTORY & Why Pastors Lack Management Skills, More Than Leadership Skills

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 8/24/15.

Sometimes seminary students have a negative view of the term 
“management” because in their minds it has been linked with inflexibility and control. As a result, seminarians often eschew learning management skills.

But it has been my (oft quoted) observation that, “Pastors more often are kicked out of a church because of poor management skills, than because of poor leadership skills.”

To understand how management got a “bad reputation” that it does not deserve, let’s look the history of management.

The historical beginnings of the “management” movement.

Management as an academic discipline began with a mechanical engineer named Frederick Taylor who invented the term “scientific management” (“The Principles of Scientific Management,” New York: Harper & Row, 1913).  Now, because it was a “science” it seemed legit to study in universities and the field of management was born. Today, management degrees (e.g. MBA, MSM, etc.) are some of the most popular degrees in graduate school.

But, many people, this professor included, have problems with Taylor’s “scientific management.”

Not because it is scientific, or even because it is management, but because of what it soon became.  You see, Taylor put the company before the person.  He famously intoned “the worker must be trimmed to fit the job” (quoted by Daniel Boorstin, “The Americans: The Democratic Experience, New York: Vintage, 1974, 363).  To legitimize this he conducted time and motion studies to show how jobs could be better performed.  Of course, business managers were elated at this science, that could prove that by manipulating people, jobs can be done faster and more efficiency (oftentimes however at the expense of the workers self-worth and dignity).

The Rise of “Tactical” AND “Strategic” Management  

Not surprisingly, many critics arose who criticized Taylor’s approach (an approach when came to be known as Theory X).  The critics said that Theory X did not fully appreciate the worker (it didn’t), that it de-motivated the worker (it did) and that it was too inflexible (it is).

The later point, that it was too inflexible, was championed by Henry Mintzberg in a great book called “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning” (New York: The Free Press, 1994). Some wrongly misconstrue that Mintzberg was saying strategic planning was wrong.  He wasn’t. But what he was arguing is that in Theory X management is seen as being too inflexible, too lock-step, too rigid.

He suggested that “planners” need to be both “right-brained planners” who learn procedures and processes (who I call “tactical leaders”); as well as “left-brained planners” who (Mintzberg p. 394, quoting Quinn) are “wild birds … (who) range throughout the organization stimulating offbeat approaches to issues” (who I call “strategic leaders”)

This approach to management, flexible, innovative and integrated (across several disciplines), is very helpful for the church.  Because it utilizes right-brained planners (tactical leaders) and left-brained planners (strategic leaders), I have called this STO leadership (where O represents the “operational, team-orientated leader).

To foster innovation you need both strategic leaders (who can see the vision) and also tactical leaders (who can plan out the innovation). And, I have observed in my church case study research that innovation is very important for church growth (I even wrote a chapter about “Innovation” that I observed at Solomon’s Porch church in Minneapolis).  In fact, you can find a chart that compares “Innovation” and “institutionalism” on ChurchHealth.wiki

I want to stress the importance of this flexible, inter-disciplinary management.  Postmodern management scholars such as Mary Jo Hatch and Haridimos Tsoukas see management as having to do with the ability to plan flexible tactics, address conflict, recruit volunteers and alter management styles as an organization grows.  In fact, in my consulting I have found that among pastors, leadership principles are usually rather well understood, but that pastors are weak in  management principles.

I say all of this to ensure that as you study management and leadership, you do not dismiss the former in lieu of the latter.  A holistic understanding of both leadership and management is critical for today’s church leader.  And in my case study research, I have found management skills missing more in pastors than leadership skills.