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The best executives are those that have the sense to pick good people. With an increased emphasis on teamwork, you will be called upon to co-operate and share the workload. From time to time, you can ask someone to assist by taking on an activity that you have done up to this point. In this section we discuss what you should delegate, to whom, and how the delegated task should be done.


  1. You simply cannot do everything, be everywhere, and control all decisions. Give your colleagues credit for being able to cope with some of your less demanding tasks.

  2. Clear any ideas about delegation beforehand with your boss.

  3. Document your activities for a week. Divide tasks into two categories: those that only you can do and those that can be delegated. Here are some examples of the latter group:

    • routine jobs;

    • collecting data;

    • attending routine meetings unrelated to your major tasks.


  1. Decide who would be suitable to help you reduce your workload. Consider

    • their interest in the tasks;

    • their available time;

    • their skill levels.

  2. If you identify people who have the time and interest but not the appropriate skills, offer to train them in the new tasks.


  1. Meet formally or informally, as the situation dictates, with the people to whom tasks will be delegated.

    • Explain the purpose of the meeting.

    • Describe the task that needs doing.

    • Confirm the goal(s) of the task, making sure the delegate agrees.

    • Agree on a completion date.

    • Make clear the importance of prompt and accurate performance.

    • Divide large projects into a series of mini-goals with their own timelines.

    • Don't forget to stress the benefits of the new responsibility. These might include enhanced status, opportunities to learn, exposure within the company, or a chance for promotion.

    • Make sure the delegate is aware of, and accepts the scope of, the task and the duties involved. Indicate your mutual agreement with a handshake.

  1. Hand over responsibility and authority along with the task. Indicate to all concerned that you have confidence in the delegate's ability.

  2. Encourage the delegate to bring up any concerns or doubts about the task before beginning, and help solve them before they become problems.

  3. Monitor performance to make sure your directions have been understood.

  4. Continue monitoring with decreasing frequency as the delegate becomes familiar with the task. Give positive feedback for a good performance and helpful, uncritical advice if there are problems.

  5. Give delegates enough room to carry out new responsibilities in their own style, if appropriate.

  6. Let your boss and other colleagues know that you have delegated the task and to whom, and that your delegate has the authority to carry it through. You, however, bear the ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of the delegation.

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