By Mark Creedon
Eliminate ‘Out of Control’ management
One of the keys to effective delegating is not getting stuck in the fallacies, fears, and myths that plague some leaders.
The Fallacy of Omnipotence
This is the “I can do it better myself” syndrome.
Even if it is true, the choice is not between the quality of the manager’s work and the employee’s work on a given task.
The choice is between the benefits of your performance on a single task and the benefits of your spending time in planning, organising, motivating, controlling, and developing an effective team.
Often supervisors act more like a subordinate than a leader of the work unit.
They focus on tasks and avoid developing as managers by failing to get immersed in planning, organising, motivating, and controlling.
They do this because they are comfortable that way.
If you are skilled in the tasks of your work unit and less adept at management skills, it is easy to just keep on doing those tasks.
That is your comfort level. But, to grow and become a stronger leader you must stretch your comfort level.
If you find yourself in this predicament, force yourself out of the task-oriented comfort zone and little by little start taking on management skills.
Fear of Being Disliked
As a leader, would you rather be liked or respected?
How about being both liked and respected?
We all want to be liked, but we cannot let that desire be the motivation behind our management of the work unit.
Leaders make tough decisions and often have to enforce unpopular policies.
These management decisions cannot be made on the basis of whether you are going to be popular and well-liked.
It is okay to delegate a lot of work to your employees. It is okay to be critical.
It is okay to decide who gets a raise and who does not. It is okay to say no.
And it is okay to be a strong, stern manager who delegates and acts in a fair and consistent manner.
Think of the managers you have liked and respected.
Weren’t they strong leaders? Employees rate leaders who make full use of delegation as good to excellent.
Poor delegators receive lower ratings.
Lack of Confidence in Employees
Managers who lack confidence in their employees should look to themselves for the answer.
They are, or should be, in control of the situation.
If employees cannot handle delegated assignments, the manager has either incompetent people, failed to provide them with appropriate training, not worked closely enough with them, or not made the effort to find out the extent of their capabilities.
The remedy: Identify your employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and train or replace those who still cannot meet standards.
The Fallacy that Employees Expect the Answers from Managers
This fallacy allows managers to rationalise taking problem solving and decision making away from employees.
It occurs when an employee takes a problem to a manager who says, “Why don’t you leave it with me and I’ll get back to you.”
The manager gets back to the employee with the solution.
Often the employee wanted only to talk about the problem—and did not want the manager to solve it.
Besides, when an employee leaves a problem on your desk, that is delegating upward, isn’t it? Smart employee, don’t you think?
The Myth that It Is Easier to Do It Than Explain It
A manager who uses this excuse to justify doing an operating task that team members could learn, is making a serious mistake.
If you do not take the time to teach someone else the task, you will still be performing it far into the future.
This consumes valuable time and effort that could be better spent on planning, organising, motivating, and controlling.
Sometimes a manager truly cannot delegate.
But upward progression requires more and more delegating and less doing of operational tasks.
Fear of Losing Control
Most managers, especially new ones, have experienced some anxiety over losing control.
Things can get very busy and chaotic.
At times it may seem as if everything is out of control.
At moments like this, it is important to set priorities and objectives that will lead you back to a feeling of control.
A sure way to avoid this out-of-control situation is to place emphasis on the management process instead of on performing operational tasks that others could do.
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
Sign up for the free Newsletter
For exclusive materials’ not found on the blog