Julie, accounts payable supervisor for a food brokerage company in Seattle, Washington, told Session 7 of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"When it came time to choose my "5X more enthusiasm" Leadership Development Lab goal, I realized that the area of my life I really needed to see growth was in my home life with my children. It seems like we spent all our time after I get home from work together, but what we were lacking was quality time. My evenings were spent cleaning, cooking, and preparing my kids for bed. We were lacking any intentional structure to insure real connection in our evening's together time. I committed to improving my quality time with my kids by assigning nightly duties to my children (Making Moments Matter Tool #51, Delegate the Routine). I started out my plan by using Leadership Principle #4 (Acknowledgement) with my kids. I started to show approval for any little things that they did to help out with the home chores. We had a family meeting and I presented my plan to give them each a few additional chores. I gave them the benefits of our all working together, and to my surprise, they were excited about being assigned the new daily chores. I had my 4-year old son commit to making his bed every day. We made a trip to Office Depot for a 'chores chart,' and with a little bit of training and coaching I assigned chores and after two months, they still are hustling to get their daily chores done.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that when I delegate full responsibility I must provide training and tracking. It is very important that my associates
understand how they and the team will benefit from helping out with the added responsibility. I learned that when I follow these essential guidelines to delegation they eagerly accept the expanded responsibility.
The action I call you to take is to trust your associates, train them, and allow them to grow by taking on more expanded responsibility. Explain the reason behind, the why beneath everything you delegate. Your associates will eagerly take on the responsibility and grow from it.
The benefit you will gain is a strong team who will be able to continuously improve in all key performance areas and expand their own leadership skills and you will have time to connect and built relationships that enrich all endeavors."
This past Monday and Tuesday, I conducted our 2-day offsite Leadership Team Advance (LTA) for the top eleven managers of a paper mill in Manitoba, Canada. Among the top 20% of areas identified for improvement by their peers were organization, time management and delegation. Was I surprised? No. I have seen these areas for needed improvement among senior managers in the majority of the over 100 LTA's I have facilitated. Judy, the Director of Human Resources, bought an egg timer to help with time management on her way back to the mill. Dan, the Plant Manager, completely delegated the morning meetings he has facilitated for over 14 years. These are just a couple of examples. How about you? Isn't it about time you delegated some things you really could release and in the process help your team grow up?