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Delegation (2): the hardest part

Delegating well (speccing the task, sharing your overall intent, context and resources) is a vital skill.

But the hardest most elusive, and most important part* is finding out what will make a person care enough to do something consistently well – or even to do it at all.

Things like:

  • They think it’s important too (because they already did)
  • They think it’s important because you’ve explained why you think it is
  • They have a sense of ownership – that is, not only do they think it’s important, but they think that they are the one who should do it
  • They like you / their colleagues and don’t want to let you down
  • They respect you and don’t want to let you down
  • They trust you and your judgement
  • They trust the process that’s brought them here
  • They fear the consequences (for them or others) if they don’t do it (this is a way of thinking something is important)
  • They find it intrinsically fun
  • The task has the right balance of challenge, autonomy and purpose that they get pleasure from it, even if the task itself isn’t pleasurable as such
  • They like the primary outcome of the task (something good happens)
  • They like the secondary outcomes from the task (e.g. they get paid)

What have I missed?

*With an enormous hat-tip to John G

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...