Delegation: What Every Manager Needs to Know

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Delegation is a gift. It empowers others. When done properly, it strengthens the execution and leadership muscles of individual contributors, enables project teams to thrive, and permits leaders to stop micromanaging and start contributing where they’re needed most.

Just about anyone who is successful is highly engaged in delegating tasks, otherwise they would never be able to become as big as they have become. Delegation skills, much like many other soft skills, can come to define an individual’s success and can prove to be much more important than focusing on certain technical skills.

The 5M model described below is one of the ways which can be adopted by organizations to drive effective delegation.

Measuring Progress – of the tasks and activities identified for delegation to ensure that agreed milestones/results are being met timely by the employee

Managing Problems – by anticipating and helping remove possible roadblocks for the employee in the delegated tasks so that he/she feels amply supported and also gains confidence in doing the tasks independently

Monitoring Systems – by establishing a mutually agreed review mechanism  between manager and employee to facilitate routine evaluation and feedback.

Success should be applauded and failures analyzed  to turn them into learning opportunities

Maintaining Responsibility – by clearly defining the accountabilities of the employee on the delegated tasks so that he/she has complete ownership  on the tasks assigned

Mentoring Development –  by coaching and guiding the employee through the delegated tasks to help them perform at their peak and enable them to grow while completing the delegated tasks.

Successful delegation is the hallmark of successful managers. They do not view delegation as an abdication of responsibility, rather  as a powerful tool for empowering and developing their subordinates.

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