Congratulations! You have completed the seven step delegation process we discussed in my last post. You’re sitting back and anxiously waiting for the task to be completed successfully and on time.
If you have fully followed the process, not skipped any steps and are certain the delegation plan would achieve the desired results then you just might have a chance at a successful outcome.
I say might because even with a sound delegation process and perfectly executed plan success is not guaranteed. In fact, there are three possible outcomes to even the best delegation process and only one of them equals true success.
The first possibility is that you “buy back” the delegation. It works like this: the person you delegated the task to comes to you with a question. You, for some reason, are too busy to lead at the moment so you tell the person “you’ll take care of it” and presto, you just bought it back. With this outcome you’ve accomplished nothing. The person you’ve delegated to now has reason to doubt their ability and the next time the task needs to be done you will more likely than not be the person doing it.
The next possibility is that you put the delegation in limbo. It works like this: the person comes to you with a question about the plan. You tell them that you will get back to them but you never do. The delegation is now in limbo. When you have your follow-up meeting they tell you the task is not complete because you never got back to them.
All you have succeeded at doing, other than demoralizing the person you delegated to, is convince yourself that you were right all along; doing it yourself or micromanaging people is the only way to succeed.
There is however a third possibility. You establish accountability. It works like this: the person you delegated to comes to you with a question, problem, obstacle or concern. They ask for your “help” or come right out and say they don’t know how to do the task.
Here is your moment to truly lead. If you are indeed certain that following the original plan will lead to the objectives being met then hold them fully accountable to follow the plan. Tell them THEIR plan is solid, tell them to stick to the plan. Assure them their answers are in the plan. Tell them you’ll see them on the follow up date and you know they will have succeeded.
If you do anything other than establish accountability you risk looking like and in fact being, a micromanager.
Don’t risk it!