I happen to think I delegate very well. I'm more than happy to give people responsibility and glory and decision making authority. As a manager I find one of my key responsibilities is planting seeds. I get new projects funded and kicked off. I then bring in a person who I believe can take over the job and own it, tell them what I know, mentor them for a few weeks or whatever, and then let them go to do great things. The problem I have is the "returning puppy" syndrome. I let them go into the wild and they seem to keep coming back looking for direction and approval of their pending decisions. I tell them, "You are empowered. I trust you. This project is yours now." etc. But they still come back! How do I get them to stand on their own two feet and run? What am I doing wrong? And these are senior people. Maybe I'm just so respected that they want my constant approval! Just kidding.


MikeK's picture

Delegation needs to be addressed differently for different people. I follow a model that has various levels of delegation depending on the person and one step that has worked best for me is to openly discuss the level that the person is at and what your expectation is for getting them to the next level.

A lower level might be a person who will do some tasks but you will need to follow up yourself and check in where they are at on things (junior roles for example) but the highest level of delegation is when you can delegate and task and truely never have to worry about it again. If you explain what a person is doing and coach them to move up a level when it comes to delegation, then they understand the expectation you have when you delegate a task.