What is the Purpose for Delegation?

“So, you have selected something to delegate?” I asked.

Marion nodded.  “Yup. I know you have been telling me that I had to get something off of my plate.”

“Why did you pick this project?”

“You said to pick something.  This project will take me about an hour.  I can delegate it, save myself an hour,” she explained.

“So, the reason you want to delegate this project is to save yourself an hour.  You have traded one hour for one hour.  That’s a one to one leverage of your time.  Not good enough,” I challenged.

Marion furrowed her brow.  “What do you mean, not good enough?  How can I trade an hour for more than an hour?”

“If your purpose for delegation is just to save some time, you will always trade one hour for one hour.  My challenge to you is to trade one hour and get ten hours of productivity.”

“One hour for ten, how do you do that?”

“While delegation can be a powerful time management tool, it is also your most powerful people development tool.  If your purpose is NOT to save time, but to develop people, what changes about the leverage you get, as a manager?  Can you spend one hour developing one of your team members and get ten hours of productivity back?”

One thought on “What is the Purpose for Delegation?

  1. Shawn Mallon

    I have always known that one of my biggest challenges is simply listening. I used to believe I was unable to express myself for various reasons during conversations with others unless it was something I was completely familiar and comfortable with. Now , I have found that a huge part of this was simply because most of the time I am not really listening. Even if it seemed like I was listening , The information I should have been absorbing and using was flying right over my head. After a while , I found that my “information storage units in my brain” were becoming depleted and I really simply didn’t have the information I needed to respond to others. When I listen and absorb I find that I have responses that are much more interesting and a conversation is much more productive.

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