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Delegation by Design: Matching the Right Person to the Right Task

You may have heard the phrase, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.”  If only we all had enough time and energy to do everything ourselves.  Instead, delegation is the principle that allows us to accomplish tasks through others.  You don’t have to do a project yourself to get it done correctly.  You just have to put it in the hands of the right person.

First, figure out your priorities for the project.  What is most important to you about getting the job done?  Should it be done fast, or with precision?  Does it need creativity, or in-depth analysis? 

Once you’ve prioritized the need, match the project to the person with the right qualities:

  • If you want it done quickly, give it to the person with a clean desk.  Chances are, she has a clean desk because she can’t stand to have pending items waiting on her to complete them.  She is probably a task-oriented person who gets the job done as soon as it’s assigned.  And to her, speed is critical in getting the job done correctly.

  • If you want it done properly, give it to the person who is detail-oriented.  You know who he is.  He’s that guy that never misses a beat.  He knows the name of every person he works with.  And he can remember details from that meeting three months ago.  There’s diligence in the details.

  • If you want it done creatively, give it to the person who thinks outside the box.  Maybe you’re in desperate need of an idea person – somebody who will look at the situation from a different angle and shed light on the subject.  We all need a fresh perspective sometimes, and there’s nothing quite as candid as getting an outsider’s take on an insider job.

  • If you want it done collaboratively, give it to the person who connects people and ideas.  Some people have the ability to connect people and ideas with ease and simplicity.  You’ll spot this person because she’s always recommending people and places she knows and trusts.  She has an uncanny ability to match a person’s needs to the exact thing that will provide a solution.

  • If you just need it done, give it to the person who is always busy.  How do you know if the task will get done?  Because this person is always busy.  His mind and his hands are hard at work almost 24-7.  He operates on a constant to-do list and gets a great sense of pride from accomplishing tasks.  So you need that job done?  Check.


Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”  Finding ways to match the right project to the right person will keep your organization progressing with collaboration and success.


Photo credit: clinked.com

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