Hi, this is Bernie Heine, and today I’d like to talk about the 4 stages of delegation. So in surveys of CEOs of companies, often times not being able to delegate well and not spending enough time developing my people are some of the top two responses the CEOs give when asked about what issues they’re facing.

The two of those are interrelated. If we delegate more, we will be developing the skills of our people because they’ll be doing the things that we were otherwise doing. So the big question is how do I delegate more effectively? I want to talk today about these four stages.

Be Prepared to Delegate

The very first stage is I have to be prepared to delegate. So what does being prepared mean? So to be prepared to delegate, I first have to identify what are those jobs that I’m doing that I shouldn’t be doing? So listing out the whole job, these are the tasks that I do/ the process that I use to do these things and I realize I’m not the best person in the company to be doing it. So if I lay those out, I’ll have the list.

Who is Best for the Job?

The next thing in this preparation is understanding who best can do those jobs, and I need to understand people from a behavioral standpoint and from a career ambitions standpoint. The more I understand my people, the better I’ll be at selecting who the right person is to delegate that work to.

Plan the Discussion

So once I’ve completed my preparation, that next stage is to plan that delegation discussion. So do I really understand how many hours this person already works that I’m going to be delegating this to? How does that fit into their work schedule? Also how does it fit into their career ambitions? is this going to be the kind of thing that’s going to make them excited to want to move forward or am I just doing mundane work that is going to drag them down?

Also, how should this adjust their work life? Is this easily added into what they’re doing? Are they going to in turn learn how to delegate some of their current activities to others so they can make room for this work? So really plan out this discussion, so going in you’ll be set up for success when you do have the discussion.

Carry Out the Process

So step three is actually carrying out that delegation discussion. Laying out carefully the steps and the process you want to go through to make that happen, sharing your experiences with how this process works, and also setting up some smart goals with the person you’re delegating it to so you’ll be able to follow up because we’re talking about delegating not abdicating. So it’s not giving up the work, giving up the responsibility. You still maintain control over the process and are responsible for the process, but someone else is doing the work they need to have clear guidelines and goals, so that they know when they’re being successful in carrying out the activities, and you have an easy way to follow up with them to know that everything is under control.

Ongoing Performance Discussions

Finally, the fourth step is to have ongoing performance discussions. So you should anyway be having regular discussions with your people to know where they are and know where they are in their careers or they are the the current job tasks and after delegating multiple assignments to different people, you want to be in regular contact with them in these discussions to follow up on those goals that we’ve set. How are things going with the work you’re doing? really to stay on top of it as a leader managing the process. Also pay close attention to the careers and the ambitions of that are working for you.

So remember, it’s important to be delegating the work. We can’t do it all ourselves. Even if someone can do it 90% is good or 80% as good as you can, consider delegating it and think about how their lives will improve when they get better doing these things, how their current careers will move on because they’re doing important work that otherwise their boss was doing, and overall build a stronger company and have more time for yourself to focus on the big picture things, the larger things, grow the business and grow your own career.