How to delegate responsibility

If you are like me, a bit of a jill-of-all-trades, there comes a time in your employment when you are wearing too many hats. To make the situation worse, my duties within my employ are very diverse, requiring specialized knowledge in a wide-array of subjects, not to be touched again for many months, even years later. And there is usually a use-case history behind the issues that makes it even more complicated.

In lieu of doing everything yourself, and driving yourself nuts, you need to delegate. I am blessed to have a great team. We have a fantastic synergy with each team member possessing special strengths and being self-driven. (They are also very pleasant people to be around which makes it easy). I have no problem delegating responsibilities and learned to do that a long time ago. But it never hurts to review those principals and see where I can improve myself and my leadership abilities.

Some tips:

  1. Consider Individual Strengths and Weaknesses
  2. Match Challenge to Ability Level. The quickest way to turn someone off to a delegated job is to give that person an assignment that is substantially below his or her skill level. Delegate a project to the most junior person capable of successfully completing the job.(This is where I fall short. I tend to give the worst task to myself because I don’t want to annoy my teammates. I shouldn’t always take the drudgery, but I do.)
  3. Don’t micromanage people. We are all adults. No one likes to be micromanaged. I hate people who micromanage me, so I do not do that to others. It’s really annoying.
  4. Be Generous With Recognition. I’m very good about this and I’m sure it is appreciated.
  5. Be available it answer questions or clarify the task
  6. Never delegate blameI will defend my team to the death, but when pressed, I will take responsibility for any faults found with my team. (Except we are perfect and never make mistakes.)