We have a small staff team (7 people plus some key volunteers) and there are times when one of my directs is in charge of a project that is really a whole-team priority, with actions that other members of the team need to do. But this project-leader often struggles to get the same responsiveness when delegating/assigning work to their peers. Some of them even try to get extra clout by saying 'the boss says you have to' - which is both not very effective and it 'throws me under the bus'.

 I'm guessing that a lot of your 'Managing in a Matrix' stuff applies here, in the sense that a small team has some of the hallmarks of a matrix - the need for a lot of extra relational power?

mattpalmer's picture

Trying to invoke *your* role power to get something done is an understandable but *really* ineffective move.  You can pre-emptively help out by making sure that you let everyone know that your direct is running project X, and to please treat a request from him/her as you would a request from you... but it will never anywhere near as effective as your direct using their own relationship power.  You'll also want to make sure that your direct is assigning the tasks effectively (like most things, there's an MT model for that) and providing appropriate follow-through.  At the end of the day, though, it's all about building those relationships.