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

COACHING & 6 Ways to Turn Managers into Coaches Again

by Keith Ferrazzi, Harvard Business Review,8/10/15.

Use regular one-on-one check-ins. Regular check-ins, as opposed to waiting for the annual performance review, allow you to work collaboratively with your direct reports to offer regular insight, knowledge, guidance, and suggestions to help them solve pressing problems, and to help them stay on track for their professional development goals…

Encourage more peer-to-peer coaching. Peer-to-peer coaching offers some of the richest, most valuable learning in an organization..

Create mentoring partnerships. “Some of the richest mentoring I have experienced is through ‘reverse mentoring’ where a younger generation employee partners with a more senior employee and they agree to share lessons learned with one another,” says Michael Arena, Chief Talent Officer at GM, so consider pairing-up team members from different demographics…

Tap into the potential coach within everyone… You can encourage your own team members to become coaches and trainers by allowing them to hold their own mini-seminars on an important topic or skill…

Support daily learning and development activities… Suggest that they digest small bites of content when it fits into their schedules during the day, or look for creative and engaging ways that you can bring learning and development into daily activities for your people.

Seek formal training…Consider seeking out formal training to enhance and improve your hard and soft skills, whether it’s one class, a certification program, or completing a more formal executive education or leadership training curriculum.

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2015/08/6-ways-to-turn-managers-into-coaches-again

TEAMWORK & Leaders Can Motivate Volunteers with One Word

by Heidi Grant Halvorson, Harvard Business Review, 3/6/15. The word is “together.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2014/08/managers-can-motivate-employees-with-one-word/

LEADERS and MANAGERS & What Is The Difference (Part 2) by John Kotter

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “One of the first exercises in my leadership course is to have students study the difference between leadership and management. As this article by John Kotter points out, both are required in a successful leader. Yet students seem to prefer studying leadership and overlook the critical ability to put leadership ideas into action by developing management skills too. Here in another seminal article on the importance of leadership and management, John Kotter not only talks about the difference but also how good leaders must develop both.”

Read more at … https://hbr.org/2001/12/what-leaders-really-do/ar/1

LEADERS and MANAGERS & What Is the Difference?

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “This seminal article explains the difference between leaders and managers … and why you need both. Based upon 80,000 interviews with managers and leaders by the Gallup organization, this research shows leadership deals with setting the vision, while management is helping people develop so they can work together and reach that vision. The church has a lot of leaders – but few managers, so that there’s a lot of visions – without clear plans to attain them. Below are several quotes that define the difference between leadership and management.”

LEADERS: “Great leaders discover what is universal and capitalize on it. Their job is to rally people towards a better future. Leaders can succeed in this only when they can cut through differences of race, sex, age, nationality and personality, and using stories and celebrated heroes, tap into those very few needs we all share.”

MANAGERS: “Managers will succeed only when they can identify and deploy the differences among people, challenging each employee to excel in his or her own way.”

You can be BOTH: “That doesn’t mean a leader can’t be a manager or vice a versa. But to excel at one or both you must be aware of the very different skills each role requires…”

Click on the thumbnails to begin reading…

Read more at … http://hbr.org/2005/03/what-great-managers-do/ar/1

LEADERSHIP & Key Skills

Why Good Managers Are So Rare
by Randall Beck, Harvard Business Review

“Gallup has found that one of the most important decisions companies make is simply whom they name manager. Yet our analysis suggests that they usually get it wrong. In fact, Gallup finds that companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.

Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year, and having too many of them can bring down a company. The only defense against this massive problem is a good offense, because when companies get these decisions wrong, nothing fixes it. Businesses that get it right, however, and hire managers based on talent will thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage.”

Read more at… http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/03/why-good-managers-are-so-rare/