Career Success Powered By Delegation Of Responsibility
Bosses who truly want to achieve career success delegate as much responsibility and authority to their subordinates as they can handle. That’s the way they can gain more time and energy to shoulder duties of greater visibility and value that advance them on their career path.
This power of delegation is as obvious as the nose on your face. Why, then, don’t more people act on it? These are the major reasons:
* The Axiom Of Delegation
The underlying reason is that giving up responsibilities and authority is never easy. It flies in the face of the temperament and psyche that make strong managers. But if delegation is to work, it requires sharing authority commensurate with responsibility. Delegation means accepting the notion that other people need power to get things done.
* Miscalculated Measures Of Success
A major reason that managers are reluctant to delegate responsibilities is that they falsely believe that the number of things they do equates to success, rather than the contribution of the things they accomplish for advancing their employers’ interest.
* Egos Get Involved
It’s the rare bird among ambitious careerists who is willing to give up power. Egos get involved. Sharing of responsibility and authority–i.e. sharing power–goes against the grain of what propelled them forward on their career path. But they move full speed ahead because they believe in the proposition that it is the way to move forward on the career path.
* The Headache Syndrome
Then there’s the headache syndrome as in “I’ve got a headache, but I don’t have time to take an aspirin.”
It goes like this:
“I am swamped,” the boss declares. “I have to have some help. I’d like to delegate some of my responsibilities, but I can’t find anyone who is ready to take on more work. It would take me longer to find someone willing and capable to do the work than it does to do the job myself. And besides, I can’t be sure the job will be done the right way if I don’t do it myself.”
Down the hallway, subordinates have a different view. “The boss won’t delegate responsibilities.”They stop volunteering to take on more work because they are resigned to the situation,; their growth is restricted. “Why should I keep trying to help the boss,” they say. “I’ve got a easy thing of it. Let the boss do the work, if that’s what he wants. Just send me my paycheck.”
* Five Steps To The Power Of Delegation
Here’s the basic truth: the way to get more power (a.k.a. responsibility) in your career is to hand off those tasks that others can perform as effectively as you can, so you will gain the time and energy to concentrate on the more demanding and visible tasks that will enhance your career.
- Take a hard look at your responsibilities; prioritize them by their importance to the employer’s goals.
- Eliminate tasks that are no longer required. (You’ll be surprised at how many are on your to-do list just because “that’s the way we have always done it”.)
- Pass off the less critical tasks at the bottom of your list of priorities to others.
- Concentrate on improving your performance in carrying out the most important assignments in your portfolio.
- Reach out and grasp more responsibility. Find those tasks that are most visible in their contribution to your employer’s success.
- Make sure your boss is aware of your accomplishments. You will know you are making progress up the career pyramid when you can declare “the only thing I can’t find someone else to do as well or better than I can is organizing and managing the people and resources in my span of control.”
After all, the real definition of management is the ability to accomplish goals through the effective use of resources and the proper utilization of people.
About the Author: To get more common sense advice on how to protect and advance your career during tough times, sign up at http://www.CommonSenseAtWork.com for a free subscription to Ramon Greenwood’s widely read e-newsletter and participate in his blog. He coaches from a successful career as Senior VP at American Express, author of career-related books, and a senior executive/consultant in Fortune 500 companies.