Delegation is a critical skill for managerial and leadership success. Successful leaders and managers delegate to engage people, leverage the special skills, and get more done. Even the most talented person has a capacity limit when they do everything themselves.
For some people, deep-seated issues of dependency and trust rise to the top when they need to delegate a task to someone else. From managers at work to parents at home, many people fall into the trap of doing everything. They believe it is a hassle to involve someone else with a task, or that they can do the task better or faster than anyone else, or it may even be that they don’t want to impose on anyone by asking for help.
The bottom line is that delegation is needed to leverage one’s skills and improve productivity. Proper delegation frees a person to make the most of their unique talents. It engages others by allowing them to learn and grow while making a contribution. One can find it quite liberating once they really learn to let go and put their trust in others.
Just think of Michelangelo’s work painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He had a whole team of employees that put together the scaffolding, mixed the paint and even sketched out some of the scenes. Michelangelo’s job was to paint the ceiling of the chapel.
The University of CEO (http://universityofceo.com) and CEO Focus (http://ceofocus-norcal.com) have developed a program called 98/2 Delegation to help get past the common issues and install an effective delegation. 98/2 Delegation is a hands-on, entrepreneurial style of delegation and not a “text book” approach to delegation.
It all starts with the business owner. In the typical insurance agency, the owner(s) are typically the most important asset. But, the owner(s) are also often the biggest liability in the firm. They create some of their own problems with outdated thinking or poor decision-making. The key for business owners is to learn to focus on their valuable skill sets and avoid creating their own roadblocks.
“Textbook” or traditional delegation is to assign some of one’s tasks to another person. The problem usually is that the whole task or process is fully delegated, which typically includes low skilled and very high skilled steps. It is “all or nothing” type of thinking. Delegation fails when the task includes a step or two that is just beyond the skill level of the person who was delegated the task.
The 98/2 Delegation approach factors in the real world facts of small business and how entrepreneurs think and act. The first step is for the business owner to look at the work they do from the standpoint of the value of the task – how much is it worth or what does it cost. The second step is to look at the time requirement or frequency of the task.
For those so inclined, one’s tasks can be laid out in a delegation grid:
The ideal situation is to get most of the business owner’s tasks assigned to the “Green Collar” category. There will be some in each of the categories, even the “Dog Collar” category, but over time, the owner needs to focus on high value, low frequency/time tasks.
The 98/2 Process
The first step is to analyze the work an owner does from a systematic approach. Break down the overall process into as many steps as possible. Generally, 98 percent of the time on a task can be assigned – and the owner only needs to retain 2 percent of the time to accomplish critical steps. The University of CEO has a video that explains the process. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=86kK1AE1g50.
Benefits of 98/2 Delegation
Aside from engaging others, leveraging the unique skills of others and improving productivity, one can also gain the following benefits from effective delegation:
- Cut low-impact work in half
- Re-invest that time into high-impact activities
- More family time
- Better quality of life
- Increasing sales
- Enhancing of the business model
- Mentoring key employees
- Grow strategic partnerships
The 98/2 Delegation is a method that actually works instead of frustrating the owner and employees. The technique that will empower staff and improve skills. Best of all, delegation improves productivity and the bottom line.
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