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Entries in delegation (4)


Lucky you are not good at everything

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Why delegation is at the core of leadership

It was pretty obvious watching the Rugby World Cup: some players are hopeless at some things and really good at others.

It’s the same for most team sports. You don’t have to be into rugby to get this. In fact you don’t have to be into sport at all. Bear with me.

There are two parts to a rugby team: forwards and backs. Forwards are the chunky ones who often don’t look athletic. Many have no necks. A famous forward once said rugby is one of the few games where fat people can compete at an international level.

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Why you are not always a great leader

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Sometimes it’s someone else’s job.

Winston Churchill was a great wartime leader. If you took out the word “wartime”, would the statement still stand?

At school his achievements were patchy. As a politician he was deeply divisive. He made some massive policy errors. By returning Britain to the gold standard he helped trigger the Great Depression.

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Delegation: the power of someone else

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Smart Vs dumb.

I’ve made some great decisions but also plenty that weren’t so great. What’s the difference between them?

Try this. Write down ten decisions, five smart, five dumb. They can be about anything, business, sport, personal. Then look for some common threads. Years ago, I did this on the back of a napkin.

This is what I found.

With smart ones, I knew what I was doing, was good at doing it, and sought help where I knew I needed it. Dumb ones were the opposite. I didn’t really know what I was doing, wasn’t good at it and was so afraid people would discover my lack of expertise I didn’t ask for advice. 

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What happens if you don’t delegate?

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I once asked a colleague of mine how he kept his desk so clean

There was all sorts of clutter on my own desk. I think I knew where everything was, but it didn’t look that great. New piles seemed to sprout like weeds and there was an array of folders parked there like old cars in the bottom paddock. Some had been there for months. Compared to my desk, his looked like a freshly mown lawn.  How did he do it?

The answer was simple enough: Every time a piece of paper landed on his desk, he asked himself ‘Who is the best person to handle this?’. If it wasn’t him, it got sent off to them.

You could argue that that’s about all there is to management.

Deciding what is yours and what is theirs isn’t that hard. There are only two things that should determine your role:

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