We’ve done a pretty lousy job of performing delegation as it was intended to be done.
Quit demoting people. When we delegate, we entrust responsibility to another person. But what really happens: dumping a bunch of junk work on someone else because we’re tired of doing it, don’t want to do it, or we’ve simply become too fancy to do it any longer.
Instead, we should hire someone. The same way you put work out for bid to the most qualified and viable option.
How to not delegate: “hey, I’m giving you this project because, honestly, it’s become so messy and the new president is a pain to work with. I don’t have the time to deal with it any more which is why you’re getting it.”
Hmmm… that sounds so inspiring and wow what an opportunity! Thank you for your belief in me to take care of this work! Yeah, no.
Conversely what if we did this: “alright, I’ve got a really challenging project that’s going to require some attention to detail and ability to navigate some difficult interpersonal communication with the new president. It’s clear to me that you are the best person to see this project succeed so I’m going to get with you on the details and I’ll be available for any issues that arise.”
Now we’re talking.
Maybe it’s just semantics, but that’s everything in life. Language is so critical to defining the vision and tone for what’s at stake. Take the extra effort to really determine who you’re “hiring” for this project and why you’re choosing them. Communicate the reasons for both and you’ll be setting everyone up to succeed.