Delegation is the key to a successful organization. It is the best way to help people in your union prepare for future leadership roles and free up more of your time so you can do other things. Sharing responsibilities keeps members interested and enthusiastic about your union, and creates a feeling of involvement that can't be got any other way.
You might be reluctant to delegate because you want to make sure the job is done right (your way). But you can make members feel unimportant and become apathetic if you don't share the responsibility of making your union a success. Here are several good reasons to delegate:
1. Group benefits:
2. The leader benefits by:
Although delegation is generally a great thing to do, that can really develop your union, it isn't always appropriate to delegate. There are times when delegation will actually do more harm than good:
An Appropriate Time To Delegate Is When:
The Time Not To Delegate Is When:
There are a number of different ways of working out who to delegate to. Make sure that you don't give a job to the wrong person:
Even when you have made the decision to delegate, it is difficult to delegate properly. The ability to delegate is probably the most important, but perhaps also the most rare, management skill. Jewish Society leaders need to think hard and practice in order to develop this skill. Delegation doesn't have to be difficult though, as long as simple guidelines are followed:
1. Explain to the person you are delegating to why they were selected for this task. This is an opportunity to explain the wider picture a bit and to give them the confidence they will need.
2. Delegate aims not methods. Do not tell a person exactly what you want them to do in every detail - this leaves them to act through your instructions like an automaton, which is boring and unrewarding. Tell the person you are delegating to what you want them to achieve, but not how you want them to achieve it. Leave them to think of their own ideas. This leads to the idea that you need to delegate segments of work that make sense; not bits and pieces of a task, but something that can be broken into sensible pieces.
3. Set clear guidelines. Although you shouldn't tell anybody how to do things, you should warn them in advance of what not to do. Set out a clear list of methods or actions that would be considered unacceptable, and make sure that they know it. Many plans go wrong because information wasn't shared - if you know things that the person you are delegating to will need to know, include the information within the guidelines.
4. Identify what resources they will have at their disposal. First of all the need to know how they can get help from you. Then identify other people who can help, and physical and financial resources. Delegation should be done properly - there is no point asking somebody to organise a big event but not delegating control over a budget.
5. Decide on how and when feedback will be given. Primarily this means you need to decide in advance when they are going to come and tell you how things are going. Failure to do this leads to your having to check up on them - which creates resentment. You also need to warn them that you are going to give some feedback to them, where appropriate - this should be constructive, and develop the person or people you have delegated to.
6. Spell out what's in it for them. In the union world this isn't usually a financial reward, but could be a position on a committee, public gratitude, or ideological satisfaction.
7. Let go as much as you need to. Most responsible people do not appreciate someone looking over their shoulder, or taking back parts of their assignment before they have a chance to do it. As a leader, it can be hard for you to "let go;" you like being the doer. But you need to let the person you have delegated to do the job! Delegating does not eliminate work, it simply changes it. You become a supervisor of many people instead of one person trying to do everything themselves.
8. One of your most important roles as a leader is to help your members to learn and grow through both their successes and their failures. Practically speaking this means that you need to sit with people after they have tried to complete some delegated work and 'de-brief' them. Listen to how they think it went, what could be done differently, and so forth.