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Improve Morale – Increase Motivation Part 4: Why managers don’t delegate

By M. Dana Baldwin, Senior Consultant

Strategic Planning Expert

Strategic Planning Expert

Note:  This article is part of a series taken from Dana Baldwin’s article Improve Morale-Increase Motivation originally published in Compass Points in January 2003.  Although this article was written in 2003, these tips are timeless.

In Part One, we defined morale and motivation and said that one way to improve morale is to build trust between employees and the management.  In Part Two we discussed one way to build trust.  In Part Three, we discussed effective delegation.  In this post, we will discuss several reasons why managers don’t delegate.

Why are some managers poor delegators? According to the Agile Manager E-Tip series, there is a list of ideas why some are not good at delegating.

Lone Ranger Syndrome (or “I’m the only one who can do it right.”).” This type of manager won’t delegate effectively because, in his mind, no one else can do the job as well as he can.

I’m responsible for what happens. You’re right, you are. Sure, it’s scary. Richard Nixon once said, ‘I have an absolute rule. I refuse to make a decision that somebody else can make. The first rule of leadership is to save yourself for the big decision. Don’t allow your mind to become cluttered with trivia.'” The key here is to prepare your subordinates to make bigger and bigger decisions until they become comfortable making them.

I don’t have time to teach someone else. Oh, really? If you don’t, who will?” One of the major elements of a manager is to prepare his own successor, so he may move up when opportunity knocks. If there is no one to take your place, then you can’t leave, can you?

My people are overloaded already. Well, who isn’t? If you can find anybody in your organization who doesn’t complain about being too busy, they’re probably prime candidates for downsizing. Although you should be sensitive to your employees’ work loads, morale and protests, you should also realize that most workers feel “too busy” today. Besides, it is not hard to delegate compassionately, sympathetically and tactfully.”

I hate to lose the credit. If you’re in a team-oriented organization, it’s likely that you’re sharing credit for your group’s success already. Teamwork isn’t compatible with credit thieves and Lone Ranger mangers. Even if your company hasn’t adopted teamwork, however, appreciate the wisdom and long-term benefits of sharing credit with your people. The better they look the better you look. After all, you’re responsible, right?”

In Part Five, we will discuss why some managers have a poor relationship with their subordinates.

To learn ways to take your strategic planning to the next level please listen to our webinar:  Why my strategic planning isn’t working.

M. Dana Baldwin is a Senior Consultant with Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc. He can be reached by email at: baldwin@cssp.com

© Copyright 2016 by Center for Simplified Strategic Planning, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI — Reprint permission granted with full attribution.