Monday, March 26, 2012

Delegation and Clarity

When coaching young leaders, we routinely need to talk about delegation. Usually the conversation runs like so.

“I told some one to do something the other day and it didn’t work. They blew it. What can I do to fix this situation?”

“First, delegation, according to the Dictionary, is ‘the transferring of authority and responsibility from one person to another in order to carry out a specific activity.’ So, what level of delegation did you use?”

“What do you mean? I just told them to get it done.”

“OK; let’s start at the beginning. There are three levels of delegation. Level-One Delegation gives someone direct control to do whatever needs to be done as long as it is full alignment with the strategic nexus. In Level-Two Delegation, someone can change certain factors to achieve the desired results but has limited choices. Often those choices are discussed at the time of delegation and they define parameters for action. Level-Three Delegation allows someone the opportunity to generate ideas about how to achieve the desired results but no control over how the work gets done. At times, this can result in action without commitment.”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me about this before? I had no idea.”

“It happens. Don’t worry. The goal is to keep learning.”

When coaching young leaders, we have to realize that they are in-experienced and just may never have encountered the aforementioned information. We often have to help them understand the problem before we help them through the specific situation. As I routinely pointed out this winter, awareness is not understanding.

Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257

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