Timothy R. Clark (President of our Thought Leader partners, TRCLARK) says that building bench strength is the mark of great leaders. Leaders usually enjoy the front end of delegation –- providing direction, training, vision, and encouragement. But they often shrink from the back end — measurement and accountability. Clark says both ends are crucial because, “Delegation is never abdication. You never walk away.”
When I first became a manager, I held a staff meeting, made some assignments, dispatched my direct reports and then sat back thinking about my grand vision. We met again the next week. Can you guess what happened? Nothing happened.
Learning to delegate is at the very core of leadership. At some point, we awaken to the unfortunate reality that you can’t simply express your wishes and expect them to be done. Unless you work exclusively with hungry, self-starting, perpetually motivated and universally competent people, you will come to know that delegation among mere mortals is a skill of the highest order. And yet it is the key to building your bench.