Effective Delegation for Team Performance

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Recently, I saw a sign that said “a wise many never plays leap frog with a unicorn”! Very sage advice and it occurred to me that this applies to the skills for managing a team through effective delegation. Managers should be focused on a core responsibility, getting things done through others. This is both exciting and challenging and frankly, not a skill that most managers have mastered. Sometimes it is helpful to know “what NOT to do or what to Avoid” when endeavoring to improve your management skills. So what are some of the most important mistakes to avoid? Here are three common mistakes.

1. Failure to adequately put together an Action Plan, even for very basic assignments. As a rule of thumb, if a manager’s project involves coordination and team work among 2 or more employees, or is time sensitive or higher priority, a simple Action Plan is required in all cases. At a minimum, the action plan should detail What needs to be done, How it needs to be done and When it needs to be done.


Group Visual Communication

Delegating through the Employee’s Lens

2. Failure to set follow-up status review points along the project time line cause numerous problems. You can’t just say “I’ll check back once in a while.” Employees will be more motivated and focused if they know they need to be accountable for progress by each check-point.  The manager can take immediate action to intervene on any action step that is falling behind. The managers status reports up to senior management will be accurate and timely and show the manager’s attention to detail.

3. Failure to anticipate potential problem areas in the plan and establish fall-back action steps. managing a team to accomplish an assignment will face problems and unexpected issues. It just happens. One the manager lays out the Action Plan, they should identify any action step that is mission critical or is more exposed to potential problems, and develop a fall-back plan. If something goes wrong, and the manager and team have a contingency plan, immediate action can be taken to get things back on track.

Skills for Management Execution

Managers are responsible to execute actions, working through others, and get important things done on time or sooner. There are a number of skills that the top managers utilize to assure the greatest chance for success. If the assignment is worth doing, it is worth planning to do well. Managers who take the extra time and effort to think about the objective and develop an action plan of all the steps needed (with contingency plans) will succeed more often than not. They will delegate effectively.

Any manager who takes on an important assignment without an Action Plan, progress check-points and contingency plans is definitely “playing leap frog with a unicorn” and is likely to get gored. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to apply these basic skills and build a reputation as a get it done manager?

Additional Management Skills Resources

Management by Executing projects


ABOUT: Plan-Delegate-Manage is an organization that strives to bring real world experience, proven skills and valuable management delegation tools to managers and Executives around the world.  Learn more from our e-books, “Management By Delegation” and “Delegating Through the Lens of the Employee” that bring real world experience and proven skills and tools to managers world wide.


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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