OUTLOOK — By Majed Al Sulaimany —
• The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t. — Anthea Turner
• An empowered organisation is one in which individuals have the knowledge, skill, desire, and opportunity to personally succeed in a way that leads to collective organisational success. — Stephen Covey
• The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. — Theodore Roosevelt
• Delegating means letting others become the experts and hence the best. — Timothy Firnstahl
• Give up control even if it means the employees have to make some mistakes. — Frank Flores
• You can delegate authority, but you can never delegate responsibility for delegating a task to someone else. If you picked the right man fine, but if you picked the wrong man, the responsibility is yours — not his. — Richard E Krafye
Nothing is very close to my heart job-wise at the workplace than Delegation! I am quoting here on my own personal experience stretching over 38 years — and 25 years being in my last oil company!
I will try to avoid being bookish cum academic because a search in any engine can give you any information on any subject or topic that you want. I could as well go and write on a medical topic as if I were a doctor or an engineering topic as if I were an engineer. As a good fellow columnist had said to me: “It is the experience that counts — and simply no one can take that one from you, even if they do not like you for what you are as a person!
Also when I give examples it is not to embarrass anyone or try to get back at anyone. There is a learning curve for everyone in life — even if you think you are an expert or know it all — do not tell me (preach) anything per se!
Long time ago (it is also in my books — www.myown-ebooks.com) I was a Senior Supervisor looking after more than 16 staff comprising of only two boys, the rest were girls! When I took over the job from an expatriate the staff used to sit back hours after official hours just to finish the work for that day. The expatriate assistant of mine, being the senior, used to go home late sometimes, even up to at 11 pm and work overtime on Thursdays and Fridays.
I inherited an office that was full of tensions of all kinds — from expatriate versus local to more sensitive ones like polarisation issues and the usual resistance to a top position being taken over by a local, and the crude and peculiar resistance from even fellow local peers and bosses because the good Indian guy used to help them in English write-ups and other personal favours which I would definitely not do and also as they all knew me well earlier!
Every month I had to answer about overtime work going beyond the acceptable limits and some even were overplaying and over dramatising on this ace card against me. Thank God and to my country for sending me to Britain for education and training and to my previous bosses — though I had some issues with some — but I must admit workwise generally we went on just fine. Sadly, to a great extent I cannot say the same for others and that includes locals too!
So I studied intensively, meticulously and methodically the work systems and conducted a work study and realised whether by design or by default and inadvertently that it came down to empowerment and delegation. I was also keeping myself open for my adversaries to get back at me because my section was dealing with payments to staff, customers, clients and contractors!
Soon after there was a change as I had taken significant steps to ensure uniformity and appointed responsible people for checking claims, invoices etc, instead of pushing it to my assistant who was taking his time to send it to me for approval. Soon afterwards, there was a reorganisation by me, appointing three other locals. And if anything went wrong, both by internal and external auditors, I would not go down alone, take down those delegated with me — tongue in cheek speaking!
There is a place I know where the Boss CEO even checks on even how the Bangladeshi cleaner does his job! He simply trusts no one! He comes from the old guards — controlling everyone! How low can one get?
Honestly, there are many places where they can introduce trust and confidence now — with delegation and empowerment, reducing tension, frustration and demotivation and moving on to the roads and at homes too!