Stewardship Delegation

I maintain a principle while travelling. I like taking vacations as an opportunity to ground myself in self healing, continued education and growth both professionally and personally. This trip includes some professional development in my advanced sports nutrition book, and my self growth includes a book I’ve revisited many times in the past few years. Basically, when I decided the fitness industry, personal training and the management of people was the career track for me. That book is the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey.

In reading Covey en route to Maui, I have already taken away countless strategies that I can apply in all aspects of my life. I would like to share some of these strategies in my writings over the next few days. I originally wanted to play scrabble on my ipad, but it apparently wasn’t uploaded from the cloud successfully in YVR. Dang. Guess I just gotta get learned and smart or something. So here goes folks, this is what I took away from a section regarding Private Victories and the art of successful delegation. Do enjoy, and feel free to discuss!

Gofer vs. Stewardship Delegation

Covey writes that we have two basic styles of delegation. Gofer – designate a team member a task, get them to report back when it’s done. Super common among the workplace. But fails to engage the delegated party. From what I got from this, it’s argued that to truly get buy in from your team, you need to find a way, a powerful way, to intrinsically involve those that are part of your cause. You should infect them with a reason to invest in the end result.
That’s another point in itself. Results.
It’s argued that there’s not enough attention towards results, and instead full focus is on the methods on how to do, what to do, what not to do and all the rules in getting there. See the dilemma?
How I understand it is that people do well when empowered. Trust is the highest form of respect. Once you gain respect as a leader you have buy in from your following. Task delegation setup with multiple rules on how to achieve the desired result stems away from the whole point of getting your team behind you, in my opinion. Covey supports this argument fully, citing it’s more beneficial long term to invest time in coaching the delegated task before giving full creative control away to ensure desired results. This allows the delegated party a sense of ownership, a sense of pride and more buy in for the team as a whole. Undoubtedly, more of your following will buy in to this process and your single action effort multiplied productivity tenfold. Pretty effective and efficient, even though it will take more of a time investment in the early stages. Short term inconvenience for long term gains.
That brings me to the final point I would like to make on this section. Efficiency vs. effectiveness. The argument is based around a central theme of scheduling in your priorities instead of prioritizing your schedules activities. I totally agree. You need to know what is important to your whole grand scheme before you can go ahead and decide what you are going to do first, right? That’s efficient. The German blood in me loves this.
I’ve definitely been in this position before – ever had a one on one meeting with a manager or an employee that ran overtime? Maybe you were going out for a coffee with a friend you hadn’t seen for a long time. Strangely enough you were late for whatever you may have scheduled after the HOUR you might have allotted for said friend?
People that operate off of principle cannot work with efficiency when it comes to other individuals. There are emotions. There can be unforeseen circumstances that delay the process. There may be variables that cannot be predicted when dealing with people. When dealing with people, it’s best to utilize effectiveness over efficiency, because we are not objects.
Next time you want to have a good meaningful experience with someone, clear you schedule. Both literally and as far as your expectations go for the outcome. That’s going to be more effective, maybe not efficient. But you can look back and know that that conversation, that meeting or that opportunity to grow was most effective for both sides.
Cool, eh? Just my thoughts. Feel free to discuss.

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