In this video, Dave Crenshaw defines management as the practice of getting results through other people. Learn how to use Dave's simple four-step system for delegation—why, what, who, and when.
- What does management mean to you? In my work with coaching managers and helping CEOs develop their managers and leaders, I've come up with a definition that makes sense to me. Management is getting results through other people. This means that it's your job to help others grow in their position, not to do it for them. Think of it like being a weightlifting coach. Would the person that you're coaching get strong if you stepped in and did all the bench presses for them? Of course not.
We need to step back, and let others do the work, as we guide them and help them. This means that as a manager, you must be effective at not only your own time management, but also the time management of others. The most basic form of getting results through other people is delegation, meaning we ask someone to do something and we follow up with them about it. Your ability to effectively delegate and follow through with others can make or break you as a manager.
To help you better manage your time and theirs as well, let's explore a simple four-step system that you can use for delegation. The steps are why, meaning the motivation, what, meaning the result, who, meaning the person responsible, and when, meaning the due date. We begin with why, because by helping someone understand the motivation behind something that should be done we show respect for them. We show them that we care about them, and we want them to be involved in the process.
For example, if we're asking them to do research on a potential client, we take a brief moment to explain why this research is essential to the larger project, and how it will help us get more business. By what, we mean, what do we hope to achieve? What is the end result? We want to have clear description of the outcome. Again, using that example of the research, we detail that we're looking for a 500-word summary of the company's activities over the last eight years with links to at least three different sources.
The more specific we can be with describing the result, the more likely we are to achieve the result that we're looking for. Who is fairly straightforward, yet all too often, tasks are failed to be completed because we didn't clearly designate who is to be responsible. We want to ask people by name to do specific things, and also have them agree to do it. And then finally, the when. When is the due date by which something should be accomplished? If a project requires them to complete something by a certain time, you can give them the deadline.
In the absence of a hard deadline, however, I find it's more effective to ask the other person what due date can you meet? What is appropriate for you? In that way, they are choosing and they are making the commitment. So, whenever we delegate to someone, we follow the system, why, what, who, and when. Yet, from a time management perspective, our job isn't done yet. Then we need to capture an action item, a note for ourself with the answers to these questions.
For instance, if I delegated to someone to complete this research, I'm going to send myself a quick action reminder. What is the end result? Who is going to complete it? And when are they going to complete it? Bob will complete the 500-word research task by Tuesday at three o'clock. I jot all this down, and send myself a note that I'm waiting for it. By the way, Time Management Fundamentals graduates will recognize this as putting the note into an approved gathering point.
Later, when I see this note, I'll process it by creating a reminder for myself that I'm waiting for that person to complete it. Usually, I want that reminder to occur at the day after it was due. So, it was due Thursday at three o'clock, I'd create a reminder for myself Friday morning. When the reminder comes up, if Bob hadn't completed the report by then, I'd follow up with him to find out what got in the way. By following this simple process, you'll begin the journey toward more effective delegation.
In this course, best-selling author Dave Crenshaw offers managers at all levels practical strategies for efficient time management. Dave covers time management best practices for managing people, including delegating tasks, managing expectations, and establishing productive one-on-one meetings. He also provides helpful tips for managing projects, including how to coordinate multiple projects, allocate scarce resources, hold a team accountable to deadlines, and communicate deadline changes when necessary. Additionally, Dave covers how to manage priorities, including using your calendar as a prioritization tool, keeping your meetings action-focused, and shifting priorities when the need arises.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Delegating effectively
- Establishing 1:1 meetings
- Managing expectations
- Focusing on people
- Setting a good example
- Training others
- Coordinating multiple projects
- Allocating resources
- Holding others accountable to deadlines
- Communicating changes
- Prioritizing tasks
- Managing your calendar
- Keep meetings action-focused