Delegation, one of the pillars of business development, Management

A manager leads a number of people, each with different levels of responsibility. Thanks to good delegation, all levels must be aligned for the final result to be coherent.

An entrepreneur friend of mine once asked me how to grow his business. I told him that you should be able to delegate not only tasks, but also tasks and projects. In other words, delegate part of your authority to him. Because it is inevitable: by dividing the work, the power divides the power. But my friend was convinced that his team was not capable of taking on bigger tasks, he had tried in the past, but failed. A few days later, he informs me that, as he expected, the person he assigned the project to does not know what to do. So she did the work for him and created a procedure for him to follow next time. I asked him why he was resuming the work he wanted to delegate and advised him to adjust the wavelength next time. Because in the province he had just entrusted an urgent job (speed problem too fast) to an incompetent person (frequency problem).

Understand your own motivations

You have to take time to trustlearning to know each other and develop relationships (…). This will allow you to calculate the time it takes for the N-1 to be able to take over because it is impossible to delegate perfectly the first time. And you will enjoy watching it slowly develop.

Delegation is an art, and the more we advance in our careers, the more we delegate important aspects of our work. There is no magic recipe for good delegation. On the other hand, there are good questions to ask yourself to adjust the frequency, speed and energy and thus be on the right wavelength.

Why do you want to delegate responsibility? Ask yourself: Is it to distribute the load evenly within the team? To help someone develop a new skill? Or because I don’t like this job, I think it’s impossible to achieve the goal? Afraid to take on the project myself?

Depending on the reason – the frequency – you will have to adapt with yourself and others, or play fast, giving yourself more time. (…)

Do you really know what you’re committing to? There are important signs that show us what we are entrusting and why. The first is that one does not know how to begin. He asks or defers to you a lot of questions that are not yours, for example. Unfortunately, we often unwittingly delegate responsibility when we are not ready to delegate. We don’t even know what we want. In this case, I advise you not to delegate responsibility, but to make it a project that you will be the leader of at the beginning. Next, do you want to build a team that looks for solutions or understands a problem? When it’s clearer, you can delegate.

Motivate the person

What are the skills and interests of the person you are introducing? Delegating a project or responsibility to someone who has no interest in the subject can have consequences. It is best to check the capacity and interest in advance, that is, to act according to the amount of available movement. Because delegating a goal based on individual interests and motivations is a way to increase your team’s engagement and energy level. If you can’t find anyone, it may be time to look for other types of profiles to add to your team.

Are you willing to accept mistakes? Sometimes we are afraid to entrust projects and problems to people who do not yet have the necessary skills. However, with the right training and the right deadlines, it helps to develop your team’s skills. Learning at work is one of the greatest motivators, so if you have the opportunity to create it, don’t hesitate. On the other hand, it will be necessary accept mistakes do it along the way… It’s inevitable!

What is the level of urgency and importance? If the object is very relevant, important and requires a lot of visibility in the company, it should be assigned to a person who is in control and needs visibility for future career advancement. If you entrust it to an inexperienced person, the chances of success are less. The more critical the speed, the more competent you should be.

Then the challenge will be to motivate him. Because if he does not learn anything new, why is it interesting for him to do urgent and critical, that is, demanding work? Then tell him the importance of the project and his vision with the company. However, be careful, avoid delegating to get rid of an urgent problem, a “hot potato”… Are we unwilling to take responsibility for fear of burning ourselves out?

Have you indicated that you are a representative? Sometimes we give authority to the right person, but no one in the team or company knows about it… He may face other colleagues or departments refusing to inform him or make decisions.

Before delegating large-scale work, it is important to know the person and ensure that the project is accepted by other groups. Invite him to important meetings, give him projects that will increase his vision.

Isabelle Depatie is the author of The Manager is a Time Traveller, published by Alisio in June 2022.


Engineer, inventor, author, Isabelle Depatie holds a degree in engineering physics from Polytechnique de Ecole Montréal. He has worked for many companies and startups in France and internationally, such as IBM, Bombardier, BIC, Angstrom Power, Intelligent Energy, Element AI and Leddartech. With this dual know-how between scientific theory and management experience, he has developed a unique method of time, project and team management, which he shares on his blog “Time is the Key”. the text is his “Manager Time Traveler”, published by Alisio Publications in June 2022, 288 pages, €19.

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