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The Importance Of Delegation

By Ken Ackerman

Delegation is simply the process of getting a job done by somebody else. There are three parts to delegation:

  • Assignment of a specific task or responsibility
  • Providing the authority to get the job done
  • Holding the delegatee accountable

There are at least three time-worn excuses for not delegating:

  • There is no one I can trust
  • My team is already too busy
  • I can do it better myself

Not delegating what could be delegated is a sign of ineffectiveness. Furthermore, failure to delegate results in lost opportunity to develop talented young managers.

In her short and effective book: If you want it done right, you don’t have to do it yourself! Donna Genett describes the six steps of effective delegation:

  • Prepare beforehand
  • Clearly define the task to be completed. Be specific. Ask the person to whom you are delegating to repeat the information back to you to ensure that he or she fully understands.
  • Clearly outlines the time frame within which the delegated task must be completed.
  • Define the level of authority he or she is to use with this task:  Level 1: the authority to recommend; Level 2: the authority to inform and initiate; Level 3: the authority to act.
  • Identify checkpoints when you will meet with the delegatee to review progress and offer guidance, if needed. Schedule these meetings frequently at first, taper off as you see the task being mastered.
  • Hold a debriefing session to discuss what went well, what could have been improved, and what has been learned.


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Columbus, Ohio 43221
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