Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A nation turns its lonely eyes

I've learned a lot about leadership during the last few years that I never learned during my previous life as an introverted loner. One area in which I'm still trying to improve is how to deal with people who don't come through.

I'm pretty good at delegating responsibility, I think. Where I find myself getting stressed out, frustrated, and sometimes paralyzed is when the person to whom I delegated slacks or bails.

The tasks we're talking about are ones that affect dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people. What to do? Rescue the overall task by doing the work myself? Let things break so that the consequences of failure are clear?

As deadlines draw near, I find myself expending a lot of energy making contingency plans for what to do if one person or another doesn't come through. I fret, going back and forth about the wisdom of my plans. And sometimes I have to implement, scrambling to plug holes. What I don't like about it is that I'm not following any kind of principle in my action. It's ad hoc. I want to know what I'm trying to do with this leadership situation -- not just trying to get the task done for which some portion was delegated, but leading the team.

I'm looking for advice. Who has some wisdom for me?

1 comment:

Don said...

A lot of this has to do with the person that you delegate responsibility to. Know them as well as you can and delegate accordingly as far as possible. You can always use the "fail me once your fault, twice is my fault", but you will still have to cover for them the first time.