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This week’s focus: My wife and I are currently redeveloping a new house. The work seems never-ending, as are the decisions. My wife has also been very busy at work, so I offered to help her sort out the tiles for the bathroom by going to the tile store – my client, Topps Tiles, naturally – and choosing some. “Er, thanks,” she replied nervously, “I suppose that you can have a point of view!?!

In other words, I could say whatever I wanted, but there was no way that I was making the decision! Strong, effective managers and leaders are good at making decisions and enjoy making decisions. But if you want to make every decision it’s likely that you’ll end up simply working too hard and also slowing down your organisation. In the ABC of leadership, D is for Delegation.

Delegation can be dangerous – my wife knows that she would have been foolish to let me, a colour-blind accountant, choose the tiles! – but effective delegation, where you are clear on the decision or action you’re delegating and where the person you’re delegating to is willing and able to accept the responsibility, delivers three major benefits: (1) It frees up your time and energy to focus on more important matters; (2) It helps develop the skills and capabilities of the person accepting the delegation; and (3) It improves the speed and productivity of your organisation.

When I told my wife about better delegation, she identified some immediate opportunities – which is why I’m now off to do the washing-up – but where could you work with your team to delegate more effectively and accelerate the speed of change in your business?

Off the record: The Bones of You by Elbow

So, I’m there charging around with a juggernaut brow

Overdraft, speeches and deadlines to make

Cramming commitments like cats in a sack

Telephone burn and a purposeful gait

© Stuart Cross 2016. All rights reserved.