Delegating Power Question: What is the most common fear of executives? Answer: Delegating power to employees who might fail. Only courageous leaders are able to pass down authority, decision-making power and responsibility to those below them. They do this despite the incompetence, inability and inexperience of their people. History is filled with leaders who could not lead. L. Ron Hubbard uses a South American leader, Simon Bolivar, as an example of how extraordinary people can fail as executives. Simon Bolivar successfully won the South American revolutionary war against Spain during the 1800's. After the war he was the richest, most powerful man in South America, but only for a brief period. Because of his mistakes, he was kicked out of his country and eventually, died broke. Bolivar made the same mistake most failed executives make. He could not delegate power. "Brave beyond any general in history on the battlefield, the Andes or in torrential rivers, he [Simon Bolivar] did not really have the bravery needed to trust inferior minds and stand by their often shocking blunders. He feared their blunders. So he did not dare unleash his many willing hounds. "He could lead men, make men feel wonderful, make men fight and lay down their lives after hardships no army elsewhere in the world had ever faced before or since. But he could not use men even when they were begging to be used." "If you have power, use it or delegate it or you sure won't have it long." -- L. Ron Hubbard You fail as an executive whenever you bypass an employee, redo their work or change their decisions too often. If you train your people, why interfere? You cannot expect to be successful if you pass out authority and then take it back. For example, you tell your best receptionist, "You are now in charge of the entire waiting area and all of the receptionists' scheduling." The new reception manager then takes over and posts a new schedule . . . but you don't like it. There is nothing really wrong with the schedule, but you would prefer a different arrangement. If you are a stupid executive, you will change the schedule. If you are a smart executive, you will leave the schedule alone. You might make a private suggestion. But if possible, you wait and see how it goes. If the new manager's decision is even close to being correct, you must leave it alone. You succeed as an executive when you delegate the entire job and let the person get on with it. You give staff members the room to make mistakes, fix their mistakes and learn from their mistakes. You support their decisions. You help them when they need help, but you don't interfere with the territory you give to them. Ten Benefits of Delegating Power 1. You can use your time for the most valuable work possible. 2. You reduce your workload. 3. You can focus on increasing the productivity and income for your group. 4. People like to work for you as you give them new challenges and new opportunities. 5. You get more done with less effort. 6. Everyone in your group shows more responsibility. 7. Higher morale for everyone. 8. Your income goes up. 9. The pay of the members of your group goes up. 10. You reach your goals and your group's goals in less time. Recommendations for Executives (includes business owners, managers and bosses of all types) 1. Make a list of every job you are currently doing yourself. 2. Rate each job according to difficulty. For example, put a 1 by the easiest jobs and a 5 by the hardest jobs. Rate every job from 1-5. 3. Decide who can take over which jobs. Put their name next to the job you will be delegating. You will delegate the easiest jobs first. If you do not currently have a person to take over some of your jobs, use "future" names, such as "Future Marketing Director" or "Future Executive Director." 4. Delegate each job as fast as possible. As long as the people are trained and know what they are doing, leave them alone. 5. With your free time, focus on the big picture; new goals, new territory, new operations and greater success for you and your organization. If You are Not Yet An Executive . . . . . . you soon will be if you do the following: 1. Look for opportunities to take on more responsibility. Grab every bit you can. Do not worry about extra pay at this point. 2. When you get a duty assigned to you, get the entire duty assigned. "So if I take on this job, can I make all the related decisions? If I want to try a new approach, can I just go ahead? How should I report my progress to you?" 3. If your boss tries to take back some of the responsibility, bring it up as soon as possible. "Am I still in charge of this duty? If you want to take it back, that is fine with me, I just need to know. If you are really delegating it to me, I'll need to have full authority over it which means you won't step in without talking to me first. Is that okay?" 4. As soon as you can, start to delegate duties to people below you so you can take on even more responsibility. You are now an executive!
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