Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lack of Delegation Can be Short-Sighted

Have you ever noticed that the people who complain the most about their workload often guard their turf at work like junkyard dogs? In other words, while they moan and groan about how much they have to do, they'd sooner sever a little toe than let anyone touch so much as a file folder or Post-It note on their desk?

Of course, they may tell themselves and others that the reason they don't delegate anything is because a)no one can do a particular task as well as they can; and b)it’s just easier to do it themselves rather than having to explain it to someone else and then having to watch over them every second.

So these people are swamped with work, constantly stressed and always under deadline pressure -- and usually taking that pressure out on co-workers. They don't stop to realize that their attitude affects more than themselves as they often become a bottleneck, more intent on hoarding their work instead of working towards the most efficient process possible.

And when they do delegate -- watch out. It's more than likely they'll be delegating confusion and resentment as they dump tasks they hate on someone else, or put little thought into whether they're giving the work to the right people with the right skills.

In reality, delegating is really on-the-job training, providing those in an organization a chance to stretch and grow. And if someone can’t delegate, then they’re actually hurting the business because it undermines trust and motivation among employees.

So, the next time you don't want to delegate, think about your true motivation. Is it really because you don't think someone else can do the work, or is it because you're afraid they'll do a better job than you? If you're personally insecure about sharing your little fiefdom, then consider this: Those who fear delegating the most are the most dispensable because they are not growing and taking chances.


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