Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for May, 2011

Re-energize your ability to delegate.

As state-of-the-art technology and a competitive market increase business demands, your plates are consistently full, and in some cases overflowing. Remembering to engage your staff is crucial. Understanding that as leaders, you’re charged with distributing a robust yet fair workload among your teams, here are a few quick tools that may help you re-energize your ability to delegate effectively:
– Position and communicate your intentions, with your team, to explore further opportunities to engage them in creative and strategic initiatives.
– Make sure you’re fully aware of each of your direct reports’ current activities, skill capacities, and their desires relating to added responsibilities or expanded roles. This can be accomplished through one-on-ones, effective probing, and employee feedback.
– Begin an informal log of those initiatives that may provide an opportunity to delegate. Once you have a few things listed, choose one or two and act on them. When delegating, be sure to set measurable deliverables and target dates. And offer and provide coaching, as needed.
– Want to kick-start a creative project you’ve been putting off? Ask one of your direct reports to come up with a first draft project plan from his or her perspective and use it as a springboard for your own strategic thinking.
– If you’re hesitating to delegate a comprehensive project, ask yourself if you might be able to delegate a component of the project—or a draft of a component of a larger project.

Remember that engaging your staff in new and stimulating initiatives may help to create a more motivating environment for your team, while benefiting you and your organization.

Gotta love LinkedIn.

I’ve been on “LinkedIn”—what I consider my professional facebook—for a few years now. LinkedIn serves 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories, so I’m sure many of you are members, as well. Years ago if you were a sole proprietor and you had the opportunity to get in front of 5 prospects in a week, you might feel like you hit the jackpot. Today, we have an immediate opportunity to be “in front” of tens, hundreds, or thousands of prospects in a given day, through social media. It’s incredible really, for any small or large business.

From a business perspective I have much to learn about how to best utilize LinkedIn and other social media. I know I’m not alone on that one. However, even with minimal knowledge, there are ways to utilize this great tool to immediately benefit you and your business or organization. This week, I used my LinkedIn network in a very simple way and the results prompted me to share my experience with you.

I’m writing an article which will, most likely, be published in our local newspaper. As I was writing it, I decided to reach out with the hopes of gathering a few additional perspectives about the subject matter. So, I took about 2 minutes and posted a one-liner in a LinkedIn Leadership Think Tank group I belong to. (There are boundless groups you can sign up for or create.) I simply shared that I was writing a brief article on the subject of Integrity, and that I welcomed comments and experiences. Within a couple of days I received 15 thoughtful submissions, from all over the world, providing a mix of definitions, personal experiences, and multi-cultural perspectives on the subject of integrity.

How cool is that? A few keystrokes and I was able to generate instant results.

On a side note, you may be interested to know what the most common denominator was in the information I received about integrity, regardless of what industry or country the perspective came from: If you have integrity, it’s something you practice when you’re being observed by others, AND when you’re alone, or behind the scenes, with a decision or strategy.

Is there a subject of interest or business challenge you’re currently experiencing that may benefit from your taking a few minutes to reach out for a few additional perspectives? The opportunities are at your fingertips.