“My team tells me that I don’t follow-up with them often enough, and that is why I am sometimes disappointed,” complained Sherry.
“How often is –not often enough-?” I asked.
“It seems to be different for different people.”
“Why do you think that is?”
“I don’t know,” Sherry paused. “One person can just go longer than another person without me peeking over their shoulder.”
“Sherry, I want you to think in terms of Time Span. Time Span is the length of time that a person can work into the future without your direction, using their own discretionary judgment to achieve the goal. And each person on your team has a different time span.
“Here is your exercise. Make a list of your team and beside each name, I want you to guess the length of time that each one can work independently, based on the tasks you delegate. Your guess will be the first benchmark for how long you leave them to work without follow-up. Keep a log. Once each week, for a month, write down your observations of each team member’s time span.
“The data you get from this exercise will help you know better what you can delegate and the time interval for follow-up.”