Dangerously Delegating

cropped-dsc02069.jpgIt is the rage among management gurus that the most successful leaders extensively delegate tasks and responsibilities to members of their teams. While delegation is a key management technique, without proper application, it can be fraught with pitfalls.

Recently I witnessed an emerging leader manage a complex, critical and highly time sensitive project. At the outset, she aggressively delegated all the project tasks, set deadlines and sat back until the intended final review session. When the teams came together to present their results, it was a complete failure and the desired end product was not achieved. A colleague came to the rescue, restructured the tasks, redefined required tasks and outlined expected end products.

Delegating cannot not be just “fire and forget” – a panacea for a leader not completely thinking through a task and providing directive structure to the team.

When delegating, the best leaders make sure that tasks are structured, clear expectations of desired end products are communicated and interim check ins are planned to insure that the intended results are achieved.D

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