Project managers must know how to delegate tasks

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Is it possible to actually want to be fired?

Inc.com contributor Eric Holtzclaw seemed rather pleased with the idea in his recent article.

Of course, he wasn't actually fired in the strict sense of the word—no pink slips crossed his desk. Holtzclaw, who last year wrote an article titled, "Are You a Leader? Fire Yourself!," argues that business leaders should give up control of their day-to-day tasks in order to grow their companies in the long run.

Holtzclaw was a project manager at his growing company, describing his position as "the most important customer-facing role." Of all his tasks, the most crucial was the "lab day," a 12-hour day when the project manager showcases the customers' products in front of their consumer audience. With the data collected from this process, the manager can advise customers how best to tailor their strategies to their consumers.

Holtzclaw wrote that he was the only person in the company who knew how to do this particular job, but he wanted that to change. So he hired Brook to replace him.

That was easier said than done. Holtzclaw admitted that he had trouble giving up control of the position, and after three months, he was still doing a good portion of the work. But finally, before an important lab day, Brook insisted that Holtzclaw stay home.

"By asking for the responsibility instead of waiting to get it, she showed me that she felt like she had it under control," he wrote.

As a project manager, you must know when to step aside and delegate tasks. New Leaf's program "Leading Project Teams: The Human Side of Management" shows you how to do this effectively. In addition, New Leaf offers the QPM™ series of online estimating games to help you understand how much work you will be delegating.

"PMI," PMP," and "PMBOK" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

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