Manager Tools – The Art of Delegation
I am working on becoming a better cofounder at Comtura. Studying Manager Tools, a management podcast, has given me better tools to succeed as a manager. I will share my interpretation and learnings of my fav episodes.
I work on most weekends but the number of focused hours are limited in a week. Yet at a startup priorities shift constantly and new challenges need to be tackled. When new challenges arise there are 3+1 solutions:
- Say no
- Reprioritise my responsibilities
+1 Hire to solve problem
– Say no –
I don’t like saying no and blocking a problem. Coming from a technical background requests can be extremely difficult or technically impossible in these cases I think managing expectations and giving alternative options is a key. I would also rather put less impactful ideas on the backlog then just rejecting them. I prefer if Santi and Hector, my cofounders, can trust me with solutions to challenges rather than rejecting ideas.
– Reprioritise my responsibilities –
In general there’s not a huge leeway to reprioritise my tasks.
– Delegate –
You need to delegate down as far as you can in your org chain. For example there’s a new data creation process I would like to delegate to Gregory, my data analyst. This new data creation process will be top priority for our next 2 weeks but it can be an ongoing challenge for Gregory. So to make this process delegable I am going to get Gregory to define the process and afterwards I am going to trial working with internal consultants to see if they can help me with this. In this example I am moving the responsibility into a process that can be done by an internal consultant from Gregory so he can focus on higher impact work. I can’t delegate something that I don’t know how to do or what success looks like. So defining process and success is key here.
– +1 Hire to solve problem –
In general hiring is a last resort as it’s expensive and difficult to scale.
It’s hard for me to balance delegation and individual contributions at our current stage I need to make large contributions but I also need to manage my team. I think the best way to think more about delegation is to think on a team or company level rather than individual level. So the daily question becomes: What can Comtura do to succeed? What can my team do to succeed? – rather than – What can I do to succeed?
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Many thanks to Manager Tools for making an awesome podcast available for free! Here’s a link to the 1st Art of Delegation episode.