By: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Sr. Associate Editor, ICN Group
(In last article, we knew about the steps in delegation. Today, I will share a real-life example about how I used power of delegation effectively.)
How I used the power of delegation effectively
NOIDA: I am sharing a real-life example of effective delegation from my official life, when I was working for Government of India and was posted as Superintendent (Review) in my office and my responsibility was to examine the legality of the orders passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) on behalf of the Committee of Commissioners; and to offer comments about acceptability of the same. We were a team of two, myself and one Inspector, who was an intelligent person and was a willing worker, the best Inspector ever worked under me.
Within first 15 days of our relationship, we observed work styles of each other and somehow entered into an unwritten work arrangement. We assessed the pendency situation and decided that our first target will be to reach a point where we attend and submit a file at least 45 days before the deadline for filing the appeal. [strategy for honouring legal deadlines]. I shared the benefit that if we can do so, our remaining tenure with be less cumbersome, as last date pressure is a great energy sucker. [sharing benefits so as to keep motivational level high.]
Coming to the actual work strategy, I used to first read the Order and do the necessary research about the relevant Law, departmental instructions and case laws and prima facie decide, what view should be suggested to the Committee of Commissioners, as per the legal position. I used to research the topic in full and save the relevant legal position and current judgments. I did not waste my time in taking print outs etc. and preparing the note, which was effectively delegated to my Inspector. When the note sheet was prepared by him, I again used to study the issue quickly. I did not do corrections in the note sheet on my own. Instead I used to do corrections in ‘Review’ mode, so that he can see, where I am suggesting corrections and accept/ reject the proposed corrections. [pointing out deficiencies and providing scope for improvement without offending.] Though, I was pointing out his deficiencies but I never used the words that your note sheet required corrections. Instead, I said that I have suggested some corrections and he can accept/ reject the same. In fact, he was doing marvellous work, even exceeding my expectations. Here, I was just doing my best efforts to add value to his competence, which resulted in better note sheets from him in future. After finalising the proposal, the file was moved to our officers and finally to the Committee of Commissioners. At this stage again, following movement of files was his job and explaining the issue to the Committee of Commissioners was my job. [delegating those works completely which do not require personal attention of higher officer.]
In this manner, the work was finished smoothly. He used to maintain a pendency list and we regularly monitored the pendency list. [reviewing the status at regular intervals.] I used to plan my work during upcoming week in advance and always shared my weekly planning with him and it used to automatically become his planning as well. To equip him with necessary resources, I purchased a software, containing all the relevant Laws, notifications and instructions and the case laws. [equipping necessary tools to perform the delegated task.] I allowed him to use this software, whenever required and for taking print outs of necessary documents. Whenever, I researched a complicated issue, I used to share in great detail with him, so that not only he learns about the issue and prepare a good note sheet, his competence to research at his own also develops. [enhancing competence level of subordinate.]
In whole of the process, I learnt a lot from his work style and I believe that he must have learnt a lot from my work style. Remember, you are the leader of your team and your effectiveness is the outcome of the combined effectiveness of your team and the job of the leader should be to guide his team and develop core competence in the members of the team. Even otherwise, if you can contribute in any manner to other person’s life, there is no bigger satisfaction.
Now you can see that during the whole process of delegating/ sharing the work, I did not lose my control and supervision over the work; I decided which part of the work can be delegated, that too according to the capability of the person; there was a clear cut time frame and reporting mechanism; the benefits of reducing the pendency were shared; the deficiencies were suggested in the form of corrections in review mode; the necessary resource was provided in the form of legal software and there was a regular monitoring of pendency, so that it never goes beyond manageable limits, as filing the appeals was a time bound exercise as per Law; at all times, he was confident that even if some minor mistakes are left, there is somebody to take care.
Above all, improving the core competence of the person was always at the bottom of my heart, as simply getting the delegated job done was only beneficial for me, but long term improvement in the core competence of the team member was not only beneficial for me, at the same time beneficial for him as well as the organisation also. It was a win-win-win scenario for all the three parties.
(In the next article, I will sum up the learning from previous articles as to how we can tap immense power of GOPTA in To-Do Lists, Prioritisation and Delegation. I believe that you are enjoying the journey towards the future of your dreams with me. If yes, please stay tuned. Happy G.O.P.T.A.)
Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Creator & copyright holder of the concept G.O.P.T.A.© is an Author, Certified NLP Lifestyle Trainer, Strategic Interventionist, Corporate Trainer & Motivational Speaker ( http://bit.ly/Signature-Workshops-Sanjay-Kumar-Agarwal ) and recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Excellence (Management) by prestigious Young Scientist University, California, USA. He is Founder of ‘Read, Learn & Earn Movement’ and is popularly known among his fans & followers across the globe as ‘Time and Goal Guru’.