A New Way to Approach Delegation

You may think the key to delegating well is assigning jobs to the person who is best at doing the tasks involved. Not necessarily. The most important consideration is having each person do what generates the most value for the group as a whole.

For example, say you are a manager in a consulting organization. You supervise other consultants, but you also deal with clients yourself. In fact, you are arguably better at consulting than anyone who reports to you. You are also a very good manager.

Now, given that you’re the best consultant you have, should you forgo some of your management duties to spend more time consulting?

It depends.

If you’re better at managing than consulting—if for every hour you spend managing, you indirectly  generate greater results than you would generate consulting for an hour—then you should spend all your time managing. And you should make that decision regardless of the fact that you’re better at consulting than everyone else on your team.

— Adapted from “Delegation for Managers: What Should You Do and What Should You Delegate?” Anna Johnson, http://www.businessknowhow.com.

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