5 ways to delegate tasks and remain a good leader

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Jack Dillon shares his tips on why doing it yourself isn't always the best approach

Building successful teams is one of the marks of a strong leader.  Getting things done is essential for any business, as it takes the energy, commitment and drive of the staff to make this happen.  So many managers believe if things are to “get done right”, they will need to do it themselves.  That decision leads to a breakdown of trust, execution, and forward success.  Every leader should learn to delegate.  In the up and down world of the golf property, staff must be prepared to execute when the golfers arrive.  At the same time, management has a great many things to get done, so how can it all work?  In the work world of teams, staff must be allowed to perform their roles, while having the freedom to excel for each and every golfer.  When management is set in place to be the “gatekeeper” instead of coach, service slows down, and important procedures can be missed.  Delegation is a skill, and the results can be seen on the faces of golfers and staff.

This highfives post centers on delegation. Delegation, as noted in the definition is: one of the core concepts of management leadership.  It is also a tricky act, and can lead to poor service, hurt feelings, and very upset members and guests when things break down. Here are my 5 thoughts on delegation:

  1. Hiring: before you put a delegation program in place, it is important to hire staff who are team players, have energy, who understand & enjoy service. “There is no reason to have a catch until we each learn how to toss and receive the ball.”
  2. Develop: build a program of delegation around the team. Set up sessions where the staff is trained on watching for proper execution, and having each other’s backs
  3. SWOT: this acronym refers to: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. In your alone time, run through these points bringing in the idea of service execution, plugging team members into each area.  Once you run these ideas through your mind alone, hold meetings with the team to show what delegation should look like, as well as showing the pitfalls of poor execution
  4. New Staff: as you hire new people, integrate each into the delegation protocol as soon as possible. Provide each new employee with a mentor, and a list of small, achievable goals for that first week
  5. Numbers: share sales and bookings numbers with the team as a program is underway. People want to know how they are doing. They want to know if they are working according to plan. Being open with the team shows you want a program of delegation to work. It also shows you have their backs. As the numbers improve, recognize & reward every quarter. 

Delegation is a critical part of good leadership. I have been a part of delegation with full oversight, which feels as bad as it sounds. I have also seen many managers hire a warm body, work them for a few days, and them give them the keys as they take a 3-day weekend. You can guess the results. When delegation is right, managers feel they can achieve more, employees feel they are getting things done, while golfers & guests do not feel anything except that their day of golf, away from the world feels great. Delegation is always important, but especially in 2020, as so many teams are smaller, and the first tee is the busiest spot in town. Trust people to do the right thing, correct errors ASAP, coaching on the changes, and recognize and reward for the things you want to see repeated. Never let the chance to recognize successful service slip unnoticed. Those are the times you and delegation can gain the longest strides.

Jack Dillon writes the highfives series. This month marks the 10th anniversary of this post. Jack is a communication and service expert. He is a buyer/merchant and understands all aspects of the golf operation. When you and your team need a pair of fresh eyes, contact Jack. Reach him at 407-973-6136. Dillonjack53@gmail.com. Jack lives in Orlando.

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