Micromanagement is toxic: Delegation is the cure (6 simple steps) | Summary and Q&A

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July 21, 2020
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Garry Tan
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Micromanagement is toxic: Delegation is the cure (6 simple steps)

TL;DR

Learn the importance of delegation and how to delegate tasks effectively to maximize productivity and align goals with your team.

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Key Insights

  • πŸ‘‰ Delegation is crucial in managing a team, but it's not always easy. The speaker shares personal experiences and lessons learned from not delegating effectively.
  • πŸ€” Managers should focus on tasks that only they can do, while delegating other tasks to team members. ⏰ Time management is important, especially when you have a family. Prioritize tasks and delegate to others to free up your own time.
  • πŸ’° Selling your time has a limit, but building something and owning equity allows for more earning potential. Delegation is key to creating a successful team.
  • 🧠 Following Andrew Carnegie's philosophy, managers should trust their team and provide guidance rather than giving orders.
  • πŸ”‘ To delegate effectively, define objectives, provide context, set measurable goals, and establish priorities. Clear the way for your team and check in regularly.
  • 🧩 Micromanagement is counterproductive and can lead to frustration. It's important to identify if you're micromanaging and make necessary changes, such as backing off or making management changes.
  • 🀝 Aligning goals and values with your team is crucial to avoid micromanagement. Asking questions and having open discussions can help achieve alignment.
  • πŸ’ͺ Delegation is a continuous learning process. Managers and leaders can improve their skills and create a successful team by being a conductor and finding people who can play their instruments better.

Transcript

  • Sara Dietschy rhymes with peachy on Twitter asked me to talk about delegation. On the one hand, I know delegation is incredibly important. On the other hand, I know that I'm not perfect at it. I was 28 when I became a founder for the first time. While I had managed people before, it was sort of the first time that I felt total ownership. And I do... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does delegation help in maximizing productivity for managers?

Delegation allows managers to focus on tasks that only they can perform, while other team members handle tasks within their expertise, thus maximizing productivity for the entire team. By effectively delegating tasks, managers can accomplish more in less time and ensure that every team member is working towards a common goal.

Q: What are the signs that a manager is micromanaging instead of delegating effectively?

Signs of micromanagement include the constant need for updates and being CC'd on all communications, frustration with the output of the team, and a lack of trust in team members' abilities. Micromanagement is counterproductive as it hinders team autonomy and creates resentment. Effective delegation involves setting clear expectations and providing support, rather than overseeing every step.

Q: How can managers align their goals with their team members to ensure effective delegation?

Managers should initiate open and honest discussions with their team members to understand their goals, motivations, and perspectives. By asking questions such as "Why are we working on this?" and "How do we want to do business?", managers can align their own goals with those of their team members, fostering a cohesive work environment that supports effective delegation.

Q: What steps can managers take to properly delegate tasks and ensure successful outcomes?

Proper delegation involves clear communication of objectives, providing context and reasoning behind tasks, establishing measurable key results, determining priority, granting authority, and setting follow-up discussions. By following these steps, managers can ensure that tasks are delegated effectively and lead to successful outcomes for the team.

Summary

In this video, the speaker discusses the importance of delegation and shares personal experiences and lessons learned. They emphasize the need to properly delegate tasks and responsibilities to team members, allowing managers to focus on high-value activities. The speaker also highlights the negative impact of micromanagement and provides tips for effective delegation, such as setting clear objectives and providing context, measuring completion, and empowering team members with authority. Additionally, they suggest assessing alignment and communication with team members to avoid micromanagement. The speaker acknowledges the challenges of delegation but encourages continuous improvement in management and leadership skills.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why is delegation important?

Delegation is crucial because managers have a finite number of hours in a day and need to prioritize tasks. Proper delegation allows managers to focus on activities that require their unique skills and expertise, while other tasks can be assigned to capable team members. By effectively delegating, managers can maximize their efficiency and productivity.

Q: Can you share a personal experience related to delegation?

The speaker shares a personal anecdote where they had a direct report who felt disrespected due to poor delegation. This experience served as a wake-up call and highlighted the importance of improving delegation skills. The speaker acknowledges that they didn't handle the situation well and emphasizes the need for better alignment and communication with team members.

Q: How did the speaker initially view delegation?

Initially, the speaker saw delegation as a means to sell their time and earn money. They started as a consultant and gradually raised their hourly rate. However, they later realized that building a team and delegating tasks is crucial for achieving long-term success, rather than relying solely on selling their time.

Q: What did Andrew Carnegie say about delegation?

Andrew Carnegie believed in the power of delegation and stated that managers must surround themselves with capable individuals. He emphasized the importance of providing suggestions rather than giving orders and allowing team members to take ownership of their work. Carnegie's approach highlights the need for effective delegation and empowering team members.

Q: What are some tactics for proper delegation?

To delegate a task effectively, the speaker suggests several tactics. First, managers should clearly communicate the objectives of the task and what needs to be done. While they don't need to provide detailed instructions, clarity on expectations is crucial. They should also explain the purpose or context of the task to help team members understand its significance. Additionally, managers should establish measurable key results to determine completion and ensure buy-in from team members. Discussing the priority of the task and ensuring that team members have the necessary authority and support to accomplish it are also essential aspects of effective delegation.

Q: How can managers assess if they are micromanaging?

Managers can evaluate if they are micromanaging by considering a few indicators. For example, being constantly frustrated with the output of team members, having the desire to be copied on every email or receive frequent updates on the task's status, or feeling the need to oversee every aspect of the work. These signs suggest a lack of trust and may indicate micromanagement tendencies. However, it's important to consider whether the issue lies with the manager, the team members, or misalignment in values and goals.

Q: What options do managers have to address micromanagement tendencies?

If micromanagement is identified, one possible solution is for the manager to step back and allow team members more autonomy. If there are no negative consequences for doing so, this can be a straightforward adjustment. The manager may discover that their previous micromanagement was unnecessary and that team members can successfully fulfill their responsibilities without excessive oversight. However, in more severe cases, the manager may need to make the difficult decision to replace team members or evaluate their own role in the situation.

Q: How can managers ensure alignment with team members?

To ensure alignment, managers should have open conversations with team members. Asking questions about the purpose of the work, the team's goals, preferred ways of conducting business, and any specific do's and don'ts can help identify areas of misalignment. It is crucial to communicate and understand each other's perspectives to establish mutual understanding and successfully delegate tasks.

Q: Why is delegation a challenge?

Delegation can be challenging because it requires managers to balance their time effectively and trust others with their responsibilities. It may involve letting go of control and allowing team members to make decisions and take ownership. Additionally, delegation requires clear communication, considering different perspectives, and understanding team dynamics. Developing and improving delegation skills is an ongoing process that requires self-awareness and continuous learning.

Q: What is the goal of a great leader and manager?

The goal of a great leader and manager is to become a conductor of people. They should strive to assemble a team of individuals who excel in their respective roles and allow them to thrive. A great leader should empower team members to work independently, find their strengths, and contribute effectively. The ultimate aim is to create a well-functioning machine where everyone is aligned, motivated, and capable of achieving outstanding results.

Takeaways

Delegation is a critical aspect of effective management and leadership. It allows managers to focus on high-value activities and ensures tasks are assigned to capable individuals. Proper delegation requires clear communication, setting objectives, providing context, and measuring completion. Micromanagement should be avoided as it hinders productivity and damages trust. Managers should evaluate alignment with team members and foster open communication to address any misalignment. Delegation can be challenging but continuously improving delegation skills is essential for long-term success as a leader and manager.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares a personal experience of struggling with delegation as a founder and explains the importance of deciding what tasks to delegate.

  • The concept of building a team and delegating tasks is discussed as a means to create value and own equity, rather than selling one's time.

  • Tactical advice on proper delegation is provided, emphasizing the need for clear communication, goal-setting, authority, and follow-up.

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