smart goals

November 18, 2008

6 Tips To Effective Delegation


As an executive, supervisor, manager or team leader, you make daily decisions about everyone’s workload. Delegation is an excellent management tool to maximize your team’s performance; however, it is a skill that needs to be learned. To help maximize your delegation skills, we have put together 6 tips and 5 core competencies to improve your delegation skills.

6 Tips To Effective Delegation

1. Give The Person A Whole Task To Do – People prefer to get the job done and not wait for someone else to hand-off a component of it. Likewise, connect everyone who is actively working on the project so they can all see the big picture.

2. Make Sure They Understand Exactly What You Want Them To Do – Take the time to manage expectations so things are done correctly. Establish performance standards with SMART goals. That way, it is crystal clear what and how the task or project needs to be done.

3. Share Your Vision With Them – People like to know what your vision is on a project so share it with them. If they understand the big picture and how the task or project they are delegated fits into that big picture, they are more likely to be committed to it.

4. Set Project Due Dates – Most people need to know due dates so they can effectively manage a project. By setting specific dates and milestones you will help your team better manage a project that has been delegated to them.

5. Give Them The Right Tools – Make sure your team has the right tools to do the job. This can range from computers to software and everything in between.

6. Reward Your Team – Rewarding people for their individual and group performance is a great way to motivate them. Although financial consideration is great, best-in-class leaders find creative ways to reward their team.

Effective Delegation Can Strengthen Any Organization

Delegating tasks not only fosters a team environment but can help individuals increase their level of performance. Doing so, you will find individuals increasing their responsibility, leadership skills and project management skills. Plus, it’s an excellent way for them to feel important to your organization.

The 5 Competencies To Help Maximize Your Delegation Skills

1. Make Your Team Accountable – Leaders who delegate well demonstrate personal responsibility and hold everyone accountable for organizational outcomes.

2. Human Resource Management – Leaders who delegate well make sure there are resources available to meet the team’s goals and objectives.

3. Solid Interpersonal Skills – Leaders who delegate well build solid relationships of trust and respect inside and outside the organization.

4. Leveraging Diversity – Leaders who delegate well find ways to leverage capabilities, insights and ideas across diverse cultures, styles and ability.

5. Strong Leadership – Leaders who delegate know how to enhance their organization’s value, while tapping into their team’s skills and abilities, to help achieve the desired results.

SUMMARY – Effective delegation is all about sharing the workload, with the added bonus of developing skills and responsibility in others. A leader not only needs to look at the “final result” but also who worked, who didn’t work and what they should do differently next time. The 6 tips and the 5 competencies above will not only help you achieve a work-life balance but also become more productive.

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”
–General George Smith Patton, Jr.

If you want to find out more about how Dale Carnegie’s® Competency Based Development Solutions can make your business more effective, or need more information on this subject, please contact us.

Anita Zinsmeister, President
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central and Southern NJ
(609) 324-9200

Filed under Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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November 3, 2008

SMART Goals are out DUMB Goals are in

If you’ve ever read any strategic or business planning literature, you’ve no doubt come across the acronym SMART for mapping out goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Those are all fine and dandy objectives, but I’m out to propose another side of the coin – DUMB goals. Hear me out for a second!

DUMB stands for Dreamy, Unrealistic, Motivating and Bold.

If you stop and think about traditional and realistic goals, they aren’t that inspiring or exciting. They encourage status quo and/or staying within confined areas to achieve marginally better results at best.

Most employees can see through status quo goals and aren’t going to go that extra mile to achieve things that are already within relative reach – greatness comes from inspiration; not reaching a plateau that the ordinary can achieve with typical or expected efforts.

That might be why a majority of employees so willingly sign off on the goals during a formal review process – they know they don’t have to do a whole lot more to get the raise that comes from a satisfactory review next time around. Let’s dig a little deeper to see how ‘DUMB’ we can get.

Dreamy goals repeatedly wake you up at night wondering if something is possible with an effort that is truly remarkable. They imply going for that rarified air no one dares to breathe. It’s finding that special ’cause’ that will unite people on a mission that makes them feel part of something special versus merely putting in time to collect a check.

It’s like your kid at five years old saying he’s going to be President one day and you encouraging her/him to be anything they put their mind to. What happened to encouraging that blank canvas of wide open thinking?

Unrealistic goals are the ones traditionalists warn against and believe aren’t obtainable by anyone. To most, a job is a job until there is a challenge of the unimaginable or someone telling you ‘it can’t be done.’

Unrealistic goals push people to really push hard to move beyond what’s expected to stand out in the crowd and achieve greatness. Isn’t it a lot more fun to do something someone says can’t be done?

Motivating goals are those that make someone wake up each morning ready to take on the day versus figuring out a way to muddle through it looking busy even though time is being wasted. They are those things that people want to come to work for instead of calling in sick because they just can’t stand spending all day in the office.

Most SMART goals encourage toiling through the day in an effort to fool everyone around into believing someone is working really hard. A motivated workforce is tough to stop because momentum builds daily.

Bold is charting a course competitors don’t dare take because the fear of failure or success is too daunting. There’s a very fine line between failure and success, and most companies and individuals will walk right up to the line and toe it without ever stepping over it.

What is the worst that could happen if you stepped across that imaginary line and really went for something? You’ll never know until you try, and most people simply aren’t bold enough to try – we’re too scared we might not be able to return to the comfort zone we currently live.

I encourage you to DUMB down your goals the next time you’re charting the course for yourself or your company. Who knows what you might achieve?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Roger Bauer is CEO of SMB Consulting, Inc. a nationally recognized small business consulting firm specializing in business planning, competitive intelligence, marketing, sales, search engine optimization (SEO), strategic planning, and technology guidance. To learn more about the firm, please visit

Filed under Developing Your People, Focus on Results by Martin

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