That’s Not How I Would Do It

May 27, 2010 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

Here’s a quick test.  Someone is helping you out by loading your dishwasher for you.  You walk by and notice that they are not putting the cups where the cups go.  What do you do? 

1) Say “You’re not doing that right,” tackle them and start loading it yourself.

2) Encourage them in other ways they can help like folding washcloths (who can mess that up?) and start loading it yourself.

3) Give them some “helpful tips” on the “best way” to load the dishwasher and then nervously oversee them.

4) Twitch uncontrollably until you pass out, but you don’t say anything.

5) Walk away, and think “Sucker. I’m glad I’m not doing the dishes.  As long as you don’t accidentally put the dog in there, I’m good.”

There areprobably people who would answer at different places on this scale, if you control-freaks are willing to be honest.  However, most are probably putting themselves at 4 or 5.  I mean, come on, it’s just dishes.  However, more and more people will move up closer to 1 and 2 the more important the task is.  If it is something that is very important to you, something of great value, perhaps something that you will be evaluated on, the harder and harder it becomes for you to delegate things.

However, the better job that we can do delegating the big things, you know what happens?  The more attractive you are to leaders, big leaders, high capacity leaders.  If the only things that you can delegate are the “dishes” in your church or organization, the only people that you will have on your staff or as volunteers are dish loaders.

Too often we define delegating as “appointing someone else to do it just like I would” rather than “empowering someone to do it the way they would.”  But, Cloften, I want to teach them the right way to do it.  I understand that, but too often we get “right way” confused with “my way” and “only way.”  Teach someone the essentials, and then let them do it–their way. 

Let them lead.  Let them be creative.  Let them take risks.  Let them take the credit.  Then stand back and watch your leadership and your organization grow and flourish.