Delegation is something people talk about a lot; unfortunately, most people are not really good at actually delegating. With his book, Dave Stitt gives us a profound manual on how to make delegation work. He wants to teach us “deliberate” delegation, which means purposeful and well-thought-out, beneficial for both sides.

What Delegation is About

Dave argues, that we all focus too much on time management. But if there is little time it does not help to slice it up in even smaller chunks.

If important things are to be done correctly, they take as long as they take. Time cannot be managed.

Dave Stitt

If you need to think something through, you won’t be faster or more productive knowing that you only have, let’s say, 30 minutes for it. Probably on the contrary. Therefore you need to find a different solution to your time management problem.

Deliberate delegation might just do the trick: It actually helps you to win back your time to do the things you really need to do. At the same time, it empowers your employees.

Figuring out what to delegate and to whom

With “Deep and Deliberate Delegation”, Dave leads you through the process of figuring out what and how to delegate:

  • Which tasks do you really enjoy doing?
  • Which energise you?
  • Which ones seem to drain all energy from you?
  • Which are you pretty good at but don’t really like?

Once you have gotten a pretty good picture of what your work days normally look like and what your ideal work day ought to look like you can start changing things. Now it’s time to look at your organisation and think about who might be able to assist you with some of your tasks. Dave has developed his “Trustworthy Tracker” to help you with this task.

Good communication is essential

As in most cirumstances, communication is the most crucial part of the process. You need to find the right person for the job and you need to communicate clearly what you need from this person. While making sure not to micro-manage, you certainly have to be approachable for the delegatee and ready to give qualified feedback.

Dave offers quite a few examples to demonstrate how these steps can be handled in a good way.

Delegation needs to be deliberate

Dave also added numerous great examples as well as hands-on instructions to help you to maneuver difficult situations.

I still feel it is not an easy path to pursue. Especially since real success, as in freed-up time for yourself to get to the real important stuff, won’t come all that quick. You have to make the decision to delegate deliberately.

When you start to delegate tasks it is important to really work with the people you hand this work over to. They need to understand what is important to you while you need to carefully listen to them and be open for their input as well: It might not have become quite clear what the important aspects of the task are. Maybe they need to learn some new skills to actually be ready to step in your shoes.

I believe one of the more difficult parts is to let go. To put your trust in your colleague that she will be doing all that’s necessary to get the job done well. And to live with other people not doing things exactly like you would have approached them or actually making mistakes in the beginning.

The reward is you free mind and free time – having the wonderful feeling that things are being taken care of while not carrying the whole burden yourself.