June 14, 2012Last week I had the opportunity to spend a day helping new executives in a Fortune 50 company improve their delegation skills. As I’ve written here before, effective delegation is a critical skill for leaders who need to make the shift from being the go-to person to someone who creates teams of go-to people.
The goal of our day together was for everyone to walk out with a clear take on their delegation plan for the next 90 days on what they’re going to delegate, who they’re delegating to and how they’re going to delegate.
To flesh out the What part of the plan, we used the TRACK™ approach and some frameworks to tie their business goals directly to what they need to delegate. When we got to the Who and the How part, we worked through some distinctions that prove that, when it comes to delegation, one size does not fit all.
In kicking off the conversation, I shared a story about some feedback that I got as a junior executive early in my career. In a regular performance management discussion, my CEO told me that she thought I was a very effective leader for really talented and motivated people but not so effective with people who didn’t meet that description. Her point was that pretty much anyone can lead smart and motivated people. You share the goal with them, turn them loose and they come back with great stuff. That’s one form of delegation, but it’s not the only one and it’s probably the one that should be used the least. After all, not many managers are blessed with a team that is made up of super talented, super motivated people. You get a mix.
So to deal with the mix, we mapped out (with inspiration from the work of Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey) four primary styles of delegation, what they look like and when to use them. Here they are:
Which of the four delegation styles work best for you? What delegation advice do you have to share? What are your biggest challenges with delegation?
June 14, 2012