This is not going to be the usual type of  podcast on delegation. I am not going to try to convince you that this is a good thing or a correct thing to do.  I am sure you already know that.  What I would like to do with this particular podcast is go through some of my failures in the past when I have tried to delegate and some of the solutions which I came up with to resolve those failures.

What I have found in recent times in meeting clients is that the failures that I had are quite common.  So, instead of talking about why delegating is great and how to do it, I want to look at why it has failed in the past and maybe in that sense I can be more of use and of value to you than simply talking about delegation.

I have four points for today.

The first one is; everyone knows it is correct to delegate.  A little bit tongue in cheek, this particular point, and I’m going to look not just to introduce my failures but also I want to give you one extra reason as to why I think delegation is so very, very important, which is not often talked about.  I am also going to list the major three characteristics of delegation.

My second point is solutions, where I’ll simply give the solutions that I came up with to address the failures that I had and inside of that particular point, I’m going to talk about what to delegate.

My third point is to whom to delegate because that is also very important as well.

And lastly I’m going to talk about how to delegate, including the language you need to use, which is extremely important to get the most out of the person you are delegating to, especially when you are not using your mother tongue.


Everyone Knows it is Correct to Delegate

  • One More Reason for Delegating
    • The best form of training that exists
    • Responsibility – Authority – Accountability
  • HBR Survey
    • 75% their managers should delegate
    • 68% mangers want to delegate more
  • Why This Difference – Why does Delegating Often Fail?
  • Address these issues rather than convince you to Delegate
    • Lack of Training
    • Fear of Losing Control -> Over controlling
    • Delegating Important Issues before being Expert in Delegating



  • Lack of Training
    • Books, Podcasts or Ask Your Boss to Coach You !
  • Losing Control -> Over Controlling
    • Think Carefully What You Need to be Comfortable
    • When You Need it
    • How You Will Give Feedback During
    • What Training Will They Need
  • Delegating the Wrong Issue Before Being Expert in Delegating
    • Priority Management ->What Can be Done Must be Done
    • Start Small and Simply – Regular Reporting
    • What is Read by The Most Senior People
    • What Could Do the Most Damage – Not everything you hate doing


To Whom to Delegate

  • Who Has the Best Strengths to Complete this Task or Project
  • Who Has an Interest in this Task or Project
  • Who Needs to Develop in this Area
  • Who Needs this Most
  • Who Has Asked to be Trained in a Certain Area
    • What Better Way to End the Training than a Real Test!
  • Does This Seems Like a lot of Preparation?


How to Delegate

  • The Language You Use is Crucial – Don’t Tell, Ask
  • Simple Template – Do Not Try to Be Creative
  • Introduction
    • “Simon, could you do something for me?”
  • Why this Person
    • “You are the most competent in this area”
  • Bottom Line First – People Waiting Therefore Will Not Hear Details
    • “Could You be in Charge of the Monthly Board Meeting Agenda?”
  • The Details
    • “This is the task/project…..”
  • Deadlines – Depend on Type of Task/Project
  • If a Regular Report:
    • “The Deadling is the last business day of the month, so I need to see it 2 days before then”
  • If not a Regular Report:
    • “When do you think you will be ready with this?”
  • What Will Make You Comfortable
    • “I would like an update every Friday, and for the first 2 I would like to see the work”
  • What Do They Need? – Ask Them
    • “What do you need from me to do this?”


  1. This is interesting stuff and got me thknniig both about how I delegate and indeed how I am delegated to ..I am currently in a specialty where it is not done very well indeed and this gets me to relfect how I can improve the cascade.One of the key challenges for the NHS today ( and frankly this was not the case the last time I was practising in this area some five years ago) is how guidlines fit into medical practice. I am afraid that I am not of a generation of drs that likes guidelines terms of following the guidelines rather than clinical judgment.The other thing that really strikes me on returning to an area I was last working within a few years ago is anxiety and how destructive anxiety is for good patient care .Of course there is much that is within my locus of control and I am grateful, as ever, for this good advice.All gd wishes

    1. thank you for your comment Yusuf.

      A very important consequence of delegating is freeing up your time so that you do the things that you are best at, that maybe others cannot do. This improves the effectiveness of the organisation.

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