Years ago I wrote an article entitled: “Only Superman Can’t Delegate” which was published in “Business Credit” magazine. I wrote that it was essential to delegate, and that delegation benefits the delegator and the person to whom work has been delegated.
A colleague contacted me recently. She is a credit manager. Her question was why her boss cared whether she did the work herself, or delegated certain tasks to other members of her team. I asked why she was not delegating, and got the answer I expected. She told me she could do the work faster, better and with fewer mistakes.
I told her I thought it was likely her boss wanted her to delegate more work more frequently based on some or all of the following reasons. Your boss thinks:
- You are micro-managing your subordinates,
- That you may burn out if you don’t slow down,
- You may be holding subordinates back by not delegating since delegation usually involves cross-training others to do the work you are doing right now,
- Delegating is a simple and effective way to help the credit department to operate more efficiently,
- You won’t delegate because you don’t enjoy training the members of the credit team or because you don’t trust them,
- You are insecure about your position and believe that by not delegating and not cross-training you can make yourself indispensable to your employer, but at the cost of a less efficient department,
- Your boss thinks you are capable of performing higher value added work, but he or she recognizes that until and unless you delegate more routine work you will not have time for new assignments no matter how important they are to your employer and to your manager.
Work should be delegated to the lowest level at which it can be performed competently. When this happens, it frees up time for managers to think and act tactically or strategically rather than operationally. When the credit manager think more tactically and strategically, their employer’s investment in accounts receivable is better managed. My advice was to consider her boss’ “suggestion” not as a request but as an order. Start making lists that day about what tasks could be delegated to whom.
My opinion is that everyone reading this who has someone working for them has work that could be delegated… and if it could be delegated then it should be delegated. Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?
Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is www.coveringcredit.com.
The opinions presented are those of the author. The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors. Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.