Managing yourself creatively
Delegate at the Right Time
The right time to delegate, of course, is whenever you can. But there are special occasions when you can delegate to best advantage. These are:
You can’t possibly do your best if you continually add to your number of tasks. Spread them around, reserving for yourself only those jobs that demand your personal attention. No need, for instance, for you to answer all calls, make out bills, deal with repairmen and the like.
Going on a business trip or vacation? Don’t wait until the last minute to delegate work. Instead, make plans for this delegation well in advance of your departure. Brief your assistant as to what must be done, what should be done if there is time, what can wait. Discuss all items in detail and get his point of view. Encourage him to do the work in his own way. Above all, take time to train your delegate before the zero hour.
Moving up? Make sure someone is ready to step into your shoes. Indeed, if no one is available, you may not be promoted at all. To insure the efficiency of your understudy, spend some time with him each day teaching him your job. Give him a number of practical tests to determine his capacity for the job. And allow him plenty of time to get ready to take over your job. The best training, remember, is training by doing.
That’s the proper way to delegate authority:
- Delegate the right duties.
- Delegate to the right people.
- Delegate as training.
- Delegate at the right time.
The real secret of getting things done, you might say, is to let subordinates peel the potatoes and set the table. That way, you free yourself to plan the menu. Net result: a better “meal” for all concerned.