This guidance describes how to assign tasks to your directs.

One of the great examples of the utter lack of clarity regarding the teaching of management is the lack of guidance provided about how to assign work. Here's something we do every day, sometimes 20 times a day. But has anyone ever suggested to you there's a right way, or a better way? We'd bet money not.

Seriously, what kind of sense does this make? This is something we do a LOT. A LOT. And no one has taught us to do it right? We're not aware of a single source of information about how to be effective at assigning a work task to someone. Not one single one. If you know of one, please let us know.

We may be wrong - we're so frustrated by this that we know we're not as clear-minded as we need to be - but we think this boils down to the widely-held and completely wrong-headed idea that management is a personal choice, born out of personality and individual style. We'd like to repeat here for the eleventy-billionth time that leaving the system of managerial influence in a firm to individual choices and personality is perhaps the systematically dumbest thing we know of. Managerial influence - the practice of managing others' outputs - is the biggest, most important system in every organization. We continue to be amazed that after spending billions on systematizing purchasing, logistics, materials handling, accounting, safety, costing, vendor relations, expense reporting, site security, strategy formulation, enterprise requirements planning, information technology adoption, capability maturity models, and compensation decisions, to name just a few, we still have left the biggest lever of all unaddressed.

Somebody ought to teach this stuff. ;-)

This Cast Answers These Questions

  • What do I say when I want my directs to do new tasks?
  • How do I make sure tasks are done on time?
  • How do I ensure I know my staff have done the tasks I set?

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