This guidance recommends developing your directs by always having them have more to do than they have time to assigning and delegating more work than they think they can do.

Great bosses assign more work than their directs can do. It's that simple. Great bosses don't try to figure out what each of their directs' comfort level is. They don't negotiate a balance. They don't start small with an amount that anyone could do, and then develop a gradual plan of improvement.

Nope. They intentionally give everyone more work to do than they think or know or believe or hope they can do. They OVER-ASSIGN. They OVER-delegate. They don't try to get an exact right balance - there is no such thing. What is true of communications is true of work responsibility assignments: you're either going to do too much, or too little, but the chance you're going to do exactly the right amount is marginally ZERO. So, the only question is whether you're going to be above or below what your team is capable of. What most managers do is try to balance two largely unrelated factors - how much work the organization seems to be demanding of you, and how busy your directs say they are.

We are tempted to call this cast the Peter Drucker Productivity Guidance. Why? Because Drucker once said, the productivity of the worker is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

The productivity of the worker is not the responsibility of the worker but of the manager.

Peter Drucker

Isn't some of what the organization asks of you and yours largely unnecessary? (Of course it is: you're not doing it and not getting in any trouble). And isn't it likely that your directs are over-stating how busy they are? (Of COURSE they are - no one, we'd bet, has ever said to you, hey, I'm not that busy, give me some more to do.) So, effective managers realize that the way to address this is to have the right, best work efforts force out the work that is least likely to be valuable. And that means over-assigning...and teaching triage and prioritization to your team.

Here's how you can get more productivity. Because you do NOT want to disappoint Mr. Drucker!

This Cast Answers These Questions

  • Can I delegate more to busy directs?
  • How do I get my directs to do the tasks I want them to?
  • How do I delegate to my directs?

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