Leadership Delegation: When Hope is a Dangerous Word

Why is goal-setting important to disciplined delegation?

Based on his years of experience in working with leaders and teams, Ken Tracy says he has seen two approaches to delegation -- and only one of them leads to success. The key is to delegate with a high probability of known outcomes, and to ensure at the end of the day that you have a method for evaluating progress and achievement.
There's two types of delegation — blind delegation and outcome evaluation delegation. I have always found many people blindly delegate and it turns into hope. “I hope this person can do this job.” Hope is a dangerous word, all right, because there's no way of evaluating hope. Sitting down with a person and saying, “I’m giving you this responsibility. Here are the goals and expectations I have. Here's the outcome I expect. We'll be meeting on a weekly basis to go over these or a monthly basis to go over these,” and do it. Stay disciplined with that. Don't hope, because at the end of the day, if you have $10, are you going to give that $10 to a mission that you know what’s going on, how their doing it, what their doing it? Or are you going to give that $10 to a person that just says, “I think I can do it”? You’re probably going to go towards the other side.

Ken Tracy

Ken Tracy was appointed interim president of Cincinnati Christian University in February 2014. The Board of Trustees affirmed him for the position permanently in May 2014.

A 1988 graduate of CCU, Tracy has 27 years of financia...

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