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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 34Delegate to the Right People

Newly promoted supervisors and managers often struggle with delegation, and they are not the only ones. Almost without exception, people who become managers were once outstanding individual performers. They know they can perform certain tasks with excellence, but, to be optimally effective as managers, they must trust others to perform those same tasks. This shift in what it takes to succeed pushes many managers outside their comfort zones. Are you in this situation?

Learning more about how to delegate can certainly help, but it is much more important to learn as much as possible about your people. Just as betting on talent helps you find the right players for your team, identifying the right person will make you most successful at delegation. And the right person is not only someone who has the aptitude to do the task with excellence, but also someone you trust.

The first part, finding the right aptitude, may be the easiest part. Like the best coaches and trainers, you should build your plays around your players. First, think about who will do the task with excellence. The more you know about each of your people, the easier it will be to make this decision. Make sure you know:

  1. Their strengths and weaknesses
  2. What they are passionate about
  3. What motivates them
  4. What their career goals are
  5. Whether they will find this assignment attractive and engaging

If you know these things about each of the people on your team, you will be able to match ...

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