‘We accomplish all that we do through delegation – either to time or to other people. If we delegate to time, we think efficiency. If we delegate to other people, we think effectiveness.’
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p171.
The above statement appears quite simple. Yet, in practice, for some, it isn’t so simple. Delegation to time takes discipline. Delegation to people takes trust. Discipline and trust aren’t always in abundant supply.
When Stephen Covey wrote these words, the world was a different place. The world moves much faster, business could be seen as more complex. Leadership has certainly become more complex. That is why it is so important to delegate wisely.
Delegation to time is a practice. So many of us get caught up in the reactive cycle of not using time wisely. Referring to the Time Management Matrix the reactive cycle can be seen in Quadrant 3 where time is wasted on matters which are apparently urgent but not important. Yet we can fool ourselves that they are important. We are often at the beck and call of others in this Quadrant. Our time is much better served in Quadrant 2 planning and preparing so when urgent and important matters arise (Quadrant 1) it is much easier for us to get back on track.
Delegation to people is something I have often written about in one form or another. Similar to delegation to time, when we don’t utilise those working with us, especially in their areas of strength, we are the poorer for it. For those in leadership positions, you need to achieve through your people. The challenge is knowing how to do it well so everyone succeeds and has a sense of achievement. Part of this challenge is to work at the right level of leadership for your position.
How well do you delegate to time and people?
‘No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you.’
– Althea Gibson Darben