Home > CPA, Leadership > How are you doing with Delegation?

How are you doing with Delegation?

We have all heard it before “…to be effective, you must learn to delegate”.

Very few of us do it well, and most of us struggle with it on a regular basis.

In a recent article I read written by a consultant to the CPA profession, it was estimated that many partners and other senior members in CPA firms often spent 60% to 80% of their time on tasks that they are comfortable doing, but which could easily have been done by someone at a lower staff level.  If this is even close to being accurate for you…imagine what you could accomplish if only you would “delegate” ½ of the so called 60-80% of work!

Here is what Peter Drucker says about delegation:

“I have never seen a knowledge worker confronted with his time record who did not rapidly acquire the habit of pushing on other people everything that he need not do personally. The first look at the time record makes it abundantly clear that there just is not time enough to do the things the executive himself considers important, himself wants to do, and is himself committed to doing. The only way he can get to the important things is by pushing on others anything that can be done by them.”

The Effective Executive, pp. 37-38

How Capable Leaders Blow It

“One of the ablest men I’ve worked with, and this is a long time back, was Germany’s last pre-World War II democratic chancellor, Dr. Heinrich Bruning. He had an incredible ability to see the heart of a problem. But he was very weak on financial matters. He should have delegated but he wasted endless hours on budgets and performed poorly. This was a terrible failing during a Depression and it led to Hitler. Never try to be an expert if you are not.

Build on your strengths and find strong people to do the other necessary tasks.

“Interview by Riuck Karlgarrd, Peter Drucker on Leadership,” Forbes.com, November 19, 2004

David Maister also weighs in on this topic…”It is the worst and most prevalent bad habit among professionals adversely affecting the interests of clients, partners and juniors. However, it is ingrained and takes a tough, insistent managerial program to remove it. There should be no tolerance for under-delegation.”

Which of the activities on your time log/calendar over the past month could have been done by somebody else?

Which activities do you continue to do mainly because “…you’re comfortable doing them”?

Which ones are routine, repetitive, or require very little skill?  Is it low-risk?

Still not certain what you can or should be delegating?…ask for and be willing to accept constructive feedback.

Your development as a professional and your contribution to your organization’s future successes can be accelerated by your mastery of delegation. Delegation techniques/processes can be learned. If you want to learn more about delegation, check out this blog post on Effective Delegation.

Categories: CPA, Leadership
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: