Unleash Your Team’s Potential using the 5 Levels of High Impact Delegation
High Impact Delegation
Delegate results not methods.
“The more decisions a leader makes, the further he or she is away from leading a high performance team. Make too many command decisions and you’ll doom yourself and your team to mediocrity.” ~ Mark Miller
Delegation 101: Delegating what to do, makes you responsible. Delegating what to accomplish, allows others to become responsible. As Stephen R. Covey taught me so well, “Never delegate methods, only results.”
High impact leaders understand delegation is a tool for growing their team, strengthening relationships, transferring responsibility to others who are closer to the work being done, and allowing those closer to the problems to take ownership for solving the problems.
I’ve learned to be very effective at delegating. Not the “do this and do that” kind of delegation most people think of when they hear the word delegation. That isn’t leading people. That’s directing people.
That’s low impact delegation and doesn’t promote growth, responsibility, or ownership. High impact delegation empowers individuals and teams to thrive and grow. High impact delegation is about growth and development, not authority.
The 5 Levels of High Impact Delegation
1. Wait for Directions – No growth. No respect. No responsibility. A low impact leader simply tells the person or team what to do. The leader may not even be aware when they finish their task. Either way, when they’re finished, they wait for directions from the leader.
They keep waiting until they are told what to do next. This is absolutely the lowest level of delegation, and unfortunately, the most common. It’s quick and efficient. It’s also very effective, short term. Low impact leaders love it. It’s also very ineffective and an absolute waste of time, long term. High impact leaders avoid it.
2. Ask, “What’s Next?” – No growth. No respect. Only a very small amount of responsibility. The low impact leader instructs the person or team to ask “What’s next?” once they have completed the delegated task.
What small responsibility does the person or team have? When they are finished, they must find the leader and simply ask “What’s next?” That’s it. No growth and development at this level either. The leader will see a slight increase in productivity because he/she is able to keep the person or team busy without as much waiting.
However, the leader still does all of the thinking and is responsible for determining what the person or team should and will do next. At least, the leader knows when they have completed their last assigned task. Then, another task can be assigned.
3. Recommend a Course of Action – Growth happens. Respect is mutual. Responsibility is transferred. Everything changes at this level. Thinking is now a shared responsibility. The leader values the person or team’s experience, their opinions, and their decision making ability.
The responsibility for thinking, determining, and suggesting the next task is transferred to the person or team carrying out the task. They now must think before approaching the leader with a recommendation.
The leader is now in a support role growing and developing the person or team. As the leader learns to trust their thinking and decision making, he is able to move them to higher levels of delegation. If he doesn’t yet trust them, he can continue asking questions to help shape and refine their thought process and understanding of the bigger picture.
4. Do It and Report Immediately – Additional, but somewhat limited, responsibility is transferred. The leader has more trust and confidence in the person or team and allows them to accept the responsibility of choosing, and then completing, the next task without support. Then, they notify the leader of what has been done before taking the next additional action.
5. Own It and Report Routinely – Full responsibility has been transferred. At this level, the person or team reports to the leader at predetermined intervals such as: the end of a project, a specific number of days, weeks, months, or when the person or team feels it is necessary. The leader trusts the person or team completely and is confident in their ability to make the right decisions.
As Ken Allen commented, “Rarely is delegation failure the subordinate’s fault. Maybe you picked the wrong person for the job, didn’t train, develop, or motivate sufficiently.” I don’t agree with the term subordinate, but I do agree with the rest of Ken’s comment. Effective delegation is the leader’s responsibility.
“In a culture of discipline, people do not have jobs; they have responsibilities.” ~ Jim Collins
What our clients are saying…
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Sam provided the words above in a formal LinkedIn recommendation a few days after taking advantage of my special blue-collar industry offer below. He is already making plans to do it again!
What I will do for you…
If you or your leaders will invest in your team, I will too because I value growing and developing the great people in the blue-collar workforce regardless of their title or position. I’ll pay all of my expenses to travel anywhere in the USA to conduct up to 4 hours of complimentary, on site leadership development training for any size group, large or small, at any level. This is my money and my time, not corporate money on company time. Why do I make this offer? Because, I have a passion for growing and developing the often overworked, overlooked, and underdeveloped blue-collar workforce and those who lead them.
Click here to watch a short testimonial from a blue-collar leader who went through many of my 1/2 day on site, leadership development workshops.
What you must do for your team…
Purchase 200 copies (direct from me for $3,600) of any combination of my three Blue-Collar Leadership Series books and/or Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others through Change and distribute them to your blue-collar workforce. (We’re paid up to $20,000 to speak. However, we waive our speaking fees for blue-collar leaders who are willing to invest in their team and take advantage of this special offer.)
Note: 52 weeks X 40 hours = 2,080 hours per year. $18.00 per book per person / 2,080 hours = $.009 (less than a penny per hour per person annualized investment)
Learn more about the 4 books (available as paperback, eBook, and AudioBook) below that are included in this special offer:
- Blue-Collar Leadership: Leading from the Front Lines
- Blue-Collar Leadership & Supervision: Unleash Your Team’s Potential
- Blue-Collar Kaizen: Leading Lean & Lean Teams
- Change Happens: Leading Yourself and Others through Change
I’m happy to get on a complimentary call at 334-728-4143. Let’s make it happen!
Note: This offer is limited to on-site training within Blue-Collar industries and does not include conferences, seminars, etc. Learn more about my unique Blue-Collar Leadership content at www.BlueCollarLeadership.com.
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