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February 2009


Management And Delegation Skills

Every manager has two jobs - that of supervisor and that of coach.  “Supervisor:  One who directs and inspects work. Coach: A vehicle for going between places; One who teaches or trains.”  In order to be effective, you must balance the skills of each of these roles.

Want to become a role model for other managers and significantly improve your ability to delegate?  Try these strategies.

Key Strategies

1. Set and Follow Goals

Goals work  - IF you write them on paper and share them with your team members.  We encourage the involvement of the team in planning goals that they share responsibility for.

In order to be certain the goal has the greatest chance of succeeding, compare it against the following criteria:  Is the goal SMART? 

Specific - an exact number or quantity

Measurable - a way to know you've reached it

Ambitious - almost beyond your reach

Realistic - you must believe its possible

Time-dated: you must have deadlines

2. Encourage Risk Taking

If you take risks, you will fail - and then you will succeed.  Failure is the only path to success.  Nothing worth doing was ever done well the first time, or the second time.

Answer the following two questions honestly:  In your organization, and in your management style, is there more reward for success or for effort?  Is there more punishment for failure or for lack of effort? 

Risk taking is prevalent in environments in which there is almost as much reward for effort as for success, and where there is more punishment for lack of effort than for failure. 

Reward for effort, punish for lack of effort.

3. Delegate More Effectively

I've yet to meet the manager who honestly feels they delegate as fully and effectively as they would like.  Yet we know delegation is an essential part of management.  Some guidelines for better delegation are:

  • Grant freedom of authority commensurate with the experience of the delegatee.
  • Establish mutually agreed upon measures of performance for the delegated project.
  • Entrust whole projects (or whole pieces of larger projects).  Let them experience the planning, doing, and evaluation of the project.
  • Show the individual what’s in it for them, for the team, for the company, and for the customer if they complete the assignment successfully.
  • Provide unusual resources (those ones all managers keep hidden, even from their boss).



For information concerning
SMBC Incorporated contact:

Lou Carloni
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Shannon Bernadzikowski

© SMBC Incorporated  2007