Extra: Delegating

When Do I Delegate And When Not?

This is fairly simple in principle but not necessarily simple in practice. Answering the question starts with understanding exactly what is being delegated and what it means to delegate. We do not delegate our accountability for outcomes. Whether the outcomes are successful continues to be our obligation even if we do delegate the job to someone else. We continue to be responsible for how the job is done and the results despite having delegated the assignment. We have merely gotten someone to help us do what we are committed to doing. We should delegate then, only when we either cannot do the job by ourselves or do not want to do it alone.

Delegation goes a little further though. Instead of just getting someone to help us, we ask them to do the job for us, on our behalf. They do the job as if we had done it ourselves. We do not do the job, supervise their doing it, or interfere in their work. We delegate the job and then back away and let them do what they have agreed to do. They are not an extension of us, they are a substitute for us.

The conclusion is thus to only delegate jobs when we are prepared to turn the job over to someone else and then wait on the results. The corollary is only delegating jobs to people who we trust enough to be held accountable for whether or not they succeed and in whom we have enough confidents to step back and wait.

Of course, we delegate enough authority to get the job done and assure sufficient resources are available or accessible to do what needs done. This means the job does not require authority only we or people above us have. The person to whom we have delegated the job does not need any further approval or authorization from us or anyone else. They have the authority and resources they need to succeed.

The next conclusion is we only delegate when the job does not require our level of authority to be done or our level of access to resources. The person doing the job does not have to come back to us for approval. If he (or she) does, we have not actually delegated the job.

There are a variety of arrangements among co-workers we use to further the interests of our companies and our customers. Delegation is only one of those arrangements. However, when we do delegate, we are saying, “Get the job done and let me know when it is finished.”

As we see, delegation is not a cooperative activity. Rather, it is more a matter of having enough trust and confidence in someone else to let him stand in for us and our willingness to be personally held accountable for the outcome he (or she) does or does not achieve.

Be Responsive to the Needs of Clients and Customers

It’s important to consistently assure that you are Supporting and furthering your organization’s mission. This starts with being sure you are responsive to the needs and interests of clients and customers.

Get On That Pony And ride

Leadership is in many ways a balancing act. On the one hand, leaders are doers, they have to act. Leadership and action go hand in hand.

On the other hand, leaders can and sometimes do screw things up by acting too quickly, doing without sufficient thought and consideration. Insufficient caution is a risky approach to leadership, a nearly guaranteed path to disaster. Leadership and caution go hand in hand.

In this episode of the Leadership Shop, I give you three keys to open the door of effective and successful leadership. I hope you find them useful.

Ecological Human Services Management

Thanks for the chance to tell you about Ecological Human Services Management: An Organic Model for Practice. If you are a student, a human services professional or are just interested in management and organizational development, this book presents ideas and approaches that will serve your interests quite well. Let me tell you more about the book.

Ecological Human Services Management: An Organic Model for Practice has a limited and focused purpose: to initiate, implement, and manage human services. The practice model is explicated through the establishment of a new human services agency; but the approach, strategies, and techniques also apply to initiating new programs and services within an existing agency structure. The model shows how to transition from an identified, unmet human services need to clients benefiting from an array of helpful services provided by a successfully functioning human services agency.

Chapter One (The Helping Triangle) discusses the path from someone having difficulty coping with his (or her) life issues to his becoming an agency client who is receiving services enabling him to cope better.

Chapter Two (Leadership VS. Management) highlights the Leadership Team and shows how to complete the steps and activities discussed in the chapter and how to develop the Leadership Perspective from which the Team can successfully participate within the agency’s incorporating environment.

Chapter Three (Successful Leadership Connections) shows developing successful leadership connections is a relatively complex process but can be Managed effectively by agency staff members who meet the criteria included in the Leadership Connection Assessment presented in the chapter.

Chapter Four (The Management Team) discusses how the Management Team implements the policies, rules, and guidelines promulgated for the agency by the authorizing entities with which the agency is associated.

Chapter Five (Establishing the Agency) explains how we know who agency clients should be and understand the issues and difficulties they are having coping with the problems in their lives. Readers examine the resources and opportunities Potential Clients have as they struggle to cope and appreciate that their struggles relate mostly to their limited access to opportunities and resources other people access on a private, self-directed basis.

Chapter Six (Structuring the Internal Agency Eco System) brings forward the working model for services delivery developed in the previous chapter and established as the core function of the agency eco system. Using this working model, the secondary functions circle is conceptually developed, with accountability, responsibility, and authority delegated from the agency Board to its CEO and the Executive Function and then to various secondary functions such as Administrative Services, Fiscal Services, Human Resources Services, etc.

Chapter Seven (Staffing the Agency) points out how readers can understand the agency’s internal eco system in terms of the elements and entities within the system. The internal eco system is also understood in terms of the people who accept the duties and responsibilities involved in assuring the agency’s internal eco system functions successfully.

Chapter Eight (Meta Management) discusses strategies for better assuring the agency eco system functions efficiently and effectively. The eco system in principle is self-regulating and sustains its functioning indefinitely in the absence of drift. Unfortunately, drift is an ever-present, unavoidable ingredient of human services agency life.

The first Appendix includes suggested Management Guidelines for a human services agency.

The second Appendix presents The Ten Commandments of Management. Here, readers have a capsule view of the key elements needed for Management excellence.

Your copy of the book can be found in the Kindle Store on Amazon or by clicking the books cover image in the sidebar on LeadershipShop.net. I think you will find the book helpful.

May I Drive You Up The Wall, Please?

In the world of people who drive us up the wall, Committee Players are among the most frustrating. You do know about Committee Players, don’t you? On the off chance you don’t, in this episode of the Leadership Shop Podcast, you are about to find out all there is to know about these exasperating types.

Leadership & Dark Matter

Abstract: Leadership is a product of the dark matter in the world of organizations. Like the dark
matter in the cosmos, leadership is hypothesized to exist, although its
existence can, for the most part, only be inferred from actual observable
conditions, events, and circumstances that include successful conclusion of
“leadership events.” Thus, leadership actualizes as a transactional event that
occurs between the leader and his or her colleagues. (Northouse, 2004, p. 3)
Putting the point in a different frame, teams and team work (leadership events)
are not just the best leadership strategy, they are the only leadership
strategy available to us.

Let’s Make a Deal

Are you ready to make a deal? If so, being a good negotiator is a skill you will find useful when making deals with me and in many other situations. Negotiation skills facilitate your being more effectively assertive, being a better problem solver, and being a better conflict manager. Developing the skills is sometimes tedious and requires a lot of practice. The payoff is both substantial and positive, though.


In this episode of the Leadership Shop Podcast, you learn about the preliminary skills you must have to negotiate effectively and successfully. Please listen and prepare for the fun and games.

Adaptive Leadership (012)

Misunderstandings, Power, Inclusion & Fire Prevention


In this episode in our adaptive leadership series, focus is on handling misunderstandings, the use of power and control, inclusion and avoiding the situation where the leader spends most of his or her time putting out fires. Sure, it is complicated but adaptive leadership is far from simple. May I suggest that you go back and listen to the earlier episodes if you have not already considered them. Once you have done that, this episode will more clearly fit into your adaptive leadership tool box.

Adaptive Leadership (011)

In the last episode of the Audio Tidbits Podcast, I assured you that this episode would return to the content you have come to know and expect. As the series on adaptive leadership continues, you are certainly offered a full plate of tips and strategies for the adaptive leader. The range from making decisions and choices thoughtfully to being prepared to suck it up and do what needs done. I think you will be pleased. As Simon likes to say, “Listen and learn.”