Inspect what you Expect

One of the greatest attributes of a leader is to be able to develop those whom are being led, as well as become a leader among their peers.  As a leader of people, it is drilled in that in order to be successful an effective leader must delegate.  What happens often times is that leaders delegate tasks, however, they do not effectively follow through to make sure assigned tasks are completed competently and on time. 

When assignments are not effectively executed, many leaders become managers, or even worse, micro managers because in their minds, they can not trust that when they delegate the task is able to be completed.  As a result, a leader can never truly develop their direct reports. 

It is important to remember that most tasks fail not as a result of the person the task is delegated to.  They typically fail because the assignment of the task has not been set up properly.  There are a myriad of leadership classes that leaders can learn the principles of effective delegation, but here are a few key reminders.

  • Provide background  – What is the problem that is needing to be resolved and why is it important to the organization?
  • Gain commitment – Is this a problem that has relevance and is not perceived as simply busy work.
  • Resources needed – Who and what is required for effective execution?
  • Time frame – When does the task need to be completed?
  • Checkpoints – When will there be progress reports?
  • Review – Once the task is completed, ensure that feedback is provided to the person that the task is delegated to.

Feedback throughout an assignment is essential, but in setting up the task assignment, it is important for the leader to allow two way feedback to all of the above points.  A sure way to see a task fail is if the person responsible for completing the task gets the feeling that they are flying blind.

By allowing mistakes and course corrections to occur, leaders develop others by providing them valuable experience and instilling confidence in others abilities.  At the end of the day, we always need to be thinking succession planning.  The best way to do that is by allowing others to drive results and providing individual feedback when timely and appropriate.

Remember, leadership is not about us, it is about the constant strengthening of the organization and applies to all organizations.

Have a great end to the week!

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