i) Introduction to delegation (including 3 levels of delegation)

This involves concepts like

- holding others accountable
- leading from behind
- empowering others
- shifting from 'hero on the field' to 'coach on the sidelines'
- letting more people lead
- allowing other people to shine and to take credit for their performance
- attracting and growing talent (includes knowing their strengths and weaknesses, so that allocated tasks according to their strengths. This will increase the chance of success)
- developing succession planning
- encouraging self-determination in decision-making by staff
- encouraging ideas from anywhere for improvement
- understanding the need to move away from being captive to your past to one of cherishing and incorporating your past in your evolving mindset
- good listening skills, ie you have 2 ears, 2 eyes and 1 mouth, use them in that ratio!!!!
- allowing yourself to be vulnerable, eg acknowledging your weaknesses
- continually seeking feedback and reviewing performance
- understanding and accepting other people's work styles
- developing trust
- demonstrating that you care about others
- consistency between what you say and do, ie walk the talk
- know how to prioritise
- more about thinking and planning rather than doing

It involves the question

"...Who is best to do this piece of the work and what do they need from me..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009

A good delegator focuses on his own development and contributes to his staff's development

People who don't delegate will have the following type of behaviours

- let new opportunities distract them
- accept more tasks and sacrifice non-work-related things like sleep, family, hobbies, etc
- poor time management
- poor ranking of tasks, ie need to prioritise like what is both urgent and important
- don't know how to ask for help
- ego dominates, ie they perceive that they can do the task better than anybody else, fear of not being valuable, etc
- loss of self-respect by getting other people to do your work
- inadequately preparing people, ie preparing them for failure rather than success; thus setting the stage for heroic intervention
- want to be a star, ie want to take all the credit
- want to be a 'one-man band'
- fear of the delegatee doing a better job than the delegator
- selecting/hiring people with limited potential, so that delegator looks good
- a desire to be able to do everything others can do
- not delegating to a delegatee's strengths
- poor communications, ie not communicating in a way that fits the delegatee's approach
- poor listening skills
- not realising that every delegatee is unique and different
- don't give ownership of the tasks, outputs, etc to the delegatees
- fear being dependent on others,
- prefer action, doing things, rather than thinking
- the work is his/her, not theirs
- don't set the boundaries and direction with clarity, especially around expectations
- don't allocate the right amount of resources, etc

In summary

"...delegating would always seem to him an act of getting others to do his own work - and ethically indefensible (even shameful) act, raising the unavoidable spectre of selfishness, laziness, being useless......violating a deeply felt kinship with his fellow labourers......delegating could be an exercise in class betrayal, letting oneself be lured into the heresy that moving away from the direct means of production is desirable......he had to be able to do things himself or he would lose his self-respect, his connection to his roots and sense of being valuable..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009

Linked with delegation can the idea of self-identity (including self-image and self-esteem). For example, if you are a blue-collar worker/tradesman, etc, you associate valuable work with doing things. Thus when you become a white-collar worker, like a manager, the situation changes and it is more about thinking, delegating, etc than doing. However, your self-identity is more linked to the role of a blue-collar worker, ie a doer, and this can be hard to let go once you become a white-collar worker, who can be perceived as more an overhead rather than core activity.

In other words, the mental framework for understanding who one is, ie values, beliefs, likes and dislikes, etc is inconsistent with being a delegator. Traditionally, this problem can be solved ie giving up the wish to delegate and/or loyalty to the blue-collar workers. However, another solution is to enlarge your self-identity to include delegation, ie making delegation consistent with self-definition plus focusing on strategy (direction), people and resources, ie

"...in the original story that 'authored him', his understanding of 'leader' equated with 'white-collar', 'overhead', 'useless', 'not doing' and 'blowing hot air'. 'Blue-collar' automatically connected with all good things, including his family of origin, being a 'doer', and being important and valuable......these ideas 'held on to him'......remakes his mindset by moving the blue-collar family ethos from something that holds them, ie he is subject to it, to something he can hold, ie he doesn't lose it, but he moves it to another 'object' of his attention, putting him in a position to work out a new relationship to it. The world of leader and doer moved from 'either-or' to 'and-also' in his mind......his biggest learning might be that he changed his relationship to rezone labour without violating his love of, and loyalty to, hard-working family members and heroes who inevitably serve as models for what it meant to do a good day's work......what is actually accomplished goes far beyond 'improvement goal' that...... initially tempts him out on the fortress of his established habit of mind..."
Robert Kegan et al, 2009 

See how this is put in to a tabulated form (Technique 1.89 Overturning Immunity)

Three levels of delegation

1. Delegation of what is done and how to do it, while leaving the employee some degree of freedom on

. The rate of work

. Quality control

2. Delegation of what is to be done, while leaving the employee free to decide

. How to do it

. At what rate

. Within what quality range

3. Delegation of what is to be achieved, while leaving the employee free to decide

. What to do to get there

. How to do it

. At what rate

. Within what quality range

 

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