Whether you’re a chair on a new project or a higher-level manager, the foundation to effective delegation remains the same. The concept of delegation comes with a fair amount of scrutiny. It is commonly perceived as militarily ordering commands to subordinates. Delegators tell others what to do, how to do it, and negate any input from their team. The US Marines even recommend all new recruits to read A Message to Garcia, that suggests the perfect employee is one that successfully completes a request without questioning authority.
It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies; do the thing – “carry a message to Garcia!”
However, this mentality isn’t typically present in most businesses – especially in higher ed. Therefore, the keys to effective delegation accompanied with sufficient political tactics (i.e. consistent communication, building and sustaining alliances, and demonstrating leadership qualities), will ensure success for any project you’re leading.
1. Awesome Team
Nothing can be completed without a good team. Start with a group of competent people whom you trust and can work together well.
2. Link higher-level goals to project goals
The project outcome should support the organization’s goals. This will help gain credibility of your team’s efforts and also set a foundation for organizational (and most importantly – the executive team’s) buy-in.
3. Develop a plan together
No one person has all of the knowledge and experience to make all the decisions. Collaborate in developing a plan of action with your team members so everyone is on the same page – and also to increase motivation to succeed.
4. Monitor Project Success
Establish periodic goals and metrics to monitor progress through the plan’s execution. This will make sure that everyone stays on task and can also make sure that the project is completed on time.
5. Be a Cheerleader
Everyone wants to feel appreciated and valued. Reinforce your team through the process by acknowledging their efforts and encouraging them to continue their great work. Just remember to be genuine to maintain your credibility.
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