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What data-gathering can you delegate?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

As your responsibilities increase, you reach a point at which you can’t personally gather all the information you need to make critical decisions. You have to delegate some information-gathering responsibility to others.

Yet, smart leaders know that they have to gather some information personally. To let other people do it is to lose a critical part of the leadership role.

What to gather yourself, and what to delegate? When you analyze the activities of great leaders, you see that the point of division often falls along the following lines:

Quantitative information (facts, statistics, data) can be gathered by trustworthy people and presented to you in briefings, meetings, memos and reports.

Qualitative information (knowledge of emotions, underlying causes of trends) is something a leader can gather only himself or herself. You can’t turn that responsibility  to others.

Case study: Franklin Delano Roosevelt gathered information aggressively in briefings and meetings. Even when he wasn’t in those sessions, he kept his office door open so that people could interrupt him to talk about news and what was on their minds. Yet, he also knew that in the troubled years of his presidency, he couldn’t rely on his staff for information about the quality of life Americans were experiencing. He had to leave the office to visit people around the country so he could understand their problems and needs.

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