Imperative 9: Delegate Responsibility to Develop Leaders

Delegate?  Isn’t it the responsibility of management to manage?  Isn’t delegation synonymous with abdication of responsibility?

It sure seems that delegation defies all logic when it comes to effective leadership.  However, when properly planned and implemented, delegation will not only leverage a manager’s time, it will also enhance the skills of some producers in a way overlooked by most managers.  Following are some activities that can be delegated and the benefits that accrue from that delegation.

Some producers can learn skills simply by listening and observing.  Many can learn and advance skills through consistent and repetitive hands-on coaching.  Most, however, require ongoing internalization of skills to become proficient in their utilization, some of which are difficult to master.

Virtually all managers/leaders have professionals on their staff who excel in certain aspects of the selling process.  These producers can be used to teach and coach these skills for inexperienced sales persons or those needing remediation.  Allowing these people to accompany the skilled professional on sales calls can be effective.  Likewise, the journeyman producer can go on joint calls to assist the novice producer on calls on their prospects.  They can also conduct all or part of sales meetings, focusing again on those skills that they have mastered through successful experience.

In these simple but important ways, managers can increase their effectiveness while accomplishing numerous other benefits, including the following:

  • Leverage of Time:  Administrative duties eat into the time available to teach, coach and motivate producers.  The use of skilled producers in certain situations has the effect of “increasing available time” to meet the myriad responsibilities of a manager.
  • Enhancement of a Producer’s Skills:  When someone has the responsibility of teaching and desires to perform these duties well, they will prepare extensively for the job.  Through this preparation, their abilities will be enhanced even more than those they are called on to teach.
  • Leverage of a Producer’s Skills:  There are certain producers who have sales skills that far exceed those of the manager.  Use of these elevated skills is the ultimate in leverage for the manager.
  • Vulnerability Resulting in Credibility:  When leaders are willing to illustrate that they are unafraid to share the spotlight with others and to be vulnerable by showing that they recognize others to be better at some parts of the sales process than they are, they elevate themselves and add to their credibility as a trusted leader.
  • Leadership Development:  Delegation assists in developing future leaders.  A good leader is able to develop someone to “take their place,” thus permitting them to advance themselves without leaving a hole in the organization.

As with any other requirement of the leader’s position, care and planning must be exercised to ensure that those placed in these positions of shared responsibility recognize the risks and rewards that accrue from the opportunity with which they are presented.  Through this strategy, leaders can significantly increase production, credibility, the spirit of teamwork, and skill enhancement.

We would like to hear how you have used these and other strategies of delegation to maximize results.  E-mail or call us to further this discussion.

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