Delegation, considered by some of the greatest gurus in the field of management, is the most important skill in management. It’s also the one skill that has a tendency to throw a detour in your career. Having an understanding of this helps show just how vital the skill of delegation is.
There are two primary benefits to delegation. The first, and most common, is a self-perspective. It’s the question of, “How do I delegate tasks to my staff?” Sometimes confusion will arise in this process, with managers wondering how to delegate based on staff who are smarter, faster, more creative, etc. The bottom line is this – delegation is about getting the task accomplished at the appropriate level.
The second benefit of delegation is the development of your direct reports. This particular benefit is often overlooked, though it’s extremely important. When you give people increasingly challenging tasks, they grow from them. Sometimes people are reluctant during this process because they make mistakes – however, mistakes are important in the growth and development process.
One of the common mistakes when delegating is referred to as abdication (or dumping). To put it simply, dumping is the process of delegating something to someone else that you don’t want to deal with. An example of this would be giving a member of your staff a task and telling them there’s no need to follow up with you on it. You’re washing your hands of it entirely and have no interest in hearing about it ever again.
If you’re still on the fence about the difference between delegating and dumping, the key is that delegating takes work. Delegation requires following up with the staff member you’ve given the task to. Whether that’s looking into the status of the task, evaluating the progress of it, coaching their performance, etc. Proper delegation takes work.
If you want to gain a practical understanding of the delegation process and learn the most effective way to delegate, check out our program on How to Delegate & Empower Your Employees! The Center for Management Development offers a variety of certificate programs for those interested in Wichita leadership training. We also offer onsite training and certificate services throughout the state of Kansas and the country.
Dr. Hackett attended public schools in his native state, Oklahoma. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1967 with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance. After he felt the call of the classroom, he returned to the University of Oklahoma as a NDEA fellow and received his Ph.D. in Marketing and Management. In 1973, he joined the faculty of the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, as a Professor of Marketing.