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Summary: 'The Busy Manager's Guide to Delegation'

Busy Manager's Guide to Delegation
Title: The Busy Manager's Guide to Delegation Authors: Richard A. Luecke and Perry McIntosh Publisher: AMACOM, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0814414743 112 pages

Review: The Busy Manager's Guide to Delegation
By Rolf Dobelli, Chairman, getAbstract

Why read this book?

Some managers don't manage. Instead, they try to do everything themselves. This never works, because most supervisors have too many tasks and too little time. The solution is to learn to delegate, a basic managerial skill, like planning or budgeting, that you can develop.

Business experts Richard A. Luecke and Perry McIntosh offer a simple, straightforward five-step plan you can use to delegate job assignments. The authors outline their approach to delegation in clear language backed by numerous helpful examples. Additionally, they detail typical delegation problems and supply practical solutions. This short, basic manual is smartly laid out, easily accessible and immediately practicable. getAbstract recommends it to anyone who manages others and wants to elicit their best work through effective delegation.

Book summary:

Do You Delegate?

As a manager, time is your most precious commodity. Phone calls, e-mails, meetings, business lunches and all the unforeseen events that require your immediate attention rob you of the time you need to perform your actual management duties, such as planning and controlling activities, as well as organizing employees and directing their efforts on primary tasks. These tasks are, of course, why you are on the job. How do you get through your busy day-to-day agenda so you can manage proactively? The answer is clear: delegate. Think not? Take this quick quiz to determine whether you delegate enough. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you need to reassign more of your tasks:

• Are you so busy you barely have time to blink, but your direct reports seem to have lots of breaks when they can chat, goof-off and browse the Internet?
• Are your tasks pretty much the same as they were before you became a manager?
• Do your managerial colleagues seem less pressed for time than you are?
• Is the idea of taking a few days off a dismal joke?
• Do your subordinates confer with you before making any decisions on their own?

Besides protecting your time, delegation helps your employees upgrade their skills and competencies. People learn best through executing tasks, and delegation gives them opportunities to build and showcase their abilities. Additionally, it identifies the best candidates for promotion. Despite these benefits, some managers don't delegate. Their (flawed) reasons include:

• "I can't trust anybody to handle this. I'll look bad if the job isn't done right" - Your direct reports are not idiots. Give them the necessary instructions and supervision, along with the chance to take on more responsibility, and they won't make a botch of things.
• "I can do this better than any of my people." - Yes, you are a competent employee. Does this mean you should also do the filing, fact checking, client contact, research and all of the other jobs that your subordinates handle? Your organization pays you to be a manager - not to execute tasks that others can, and ought to, carry out.
• "I'm responsible for what happens here. I cannot delegate that responsibility." - As a manager, you remain responsible for the quality of your direct reports' work, but you also retain control and authority regardless of who does what chores.

Delegation goes with the territory of being a professional manager; it is an essential "managerial competency." Proper delegation involves five distinct steps. Follow them to free your time for management, to develop your staffers' skills and to build your department's broader competency...

Please click here to read on and receive a free summary of this outstanding book courtesy of getAbstract, the world's largest online library of business book summaries.

By Andrea Useem

 |  February 8, 2010; 7:12 AM ET |  Category:  Books Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Delegation requires not just the articulation of, but the imposition of consequences. When outcomes fall short of your expectations, you must confront, even if doing so makes you uncomfortable. Your comfort cannot be the determinant for action. Indeed, if you’re unwilling to impose accountabilities, you’ve become a major contributor to poor performance, and have lost the right to complain about it.
- Francie

Posted by: FrancieDalton | February 15, 2010 10:48 AM

For too many managers, they bring with them their old habit of undercutting other employees. So they delegate tasks then reject the results or otherwise set up employees to fail. This seems to be a relatively fool proof way to keep a job. "Undercover Boss" is going to be a hit show, but in real life, expecting to be rescued from a bad situation based on merit is like waiting for the fairy godmother to arrive with a glass slipper.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | February 10, 2010 10:37 AM

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