Confused about what to delegate? Start with one basic principle: Delegate any task or responsibility that a subordinate can handle or can be trained to handle.
Use this exercise to help you effectively distribute tasks among you and your staff. Draw a three-column chart on a pad or create a spreadsheet with the headings shown below. Enter every task or project you are responsible for into this “master list,” assigning them to one of the three columns.
doesn’t always come naturally; it’s an acquired skill. But use this chart and you’ll become a delegation pro.
Any tasks you retain should draw a strong “Yes” on both of these measures:
- This task reflects the “value” of my time in terms of my level of responsibility.
- I’m highly competent at this task. Caution: Don’t fall into the trap of retaining tasks you’re skilled at but that no longer reflect the current “value” of your time.
You can often share parts of tasks with your staff:
- Prescreening job candidates and selecting the top three.
- Completing pieces of large projects.
- Summarizing long reports for you to read.
- Recommending solutions to problems and issues they bring to your attention.
- Tasks not commensurate with your level of responsibility. Tasks not related to your personal strengths. Tasks that don’t provide a large payoff. Tasks that fit into another’s area of specialization, including outside consultants.
Tip: Identify “areas of responsibility” that you can assign elsewhere.