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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The multiple benefits of multi-dimensional collaboration
This is one of the volumes in the Harvard Business Press "Pocket Mentor" series, each of which offers "immediate solutions to common challenges managers face on the job every day." No matter where you are, "these portable guides enable you to tackle the daily demands of your work with greater speed, savvy, and effectiveness." In this instance, the advice is provided by...
Published on 6 Jun 2009 by Robert Morris

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3.0 out of 5 stars Covers the basics
Covers the basics but is quite obvious and doesn't tackle issues such as delegating when team members are already stressed or to those that aren't exactly junior to you.
Published 6 months ago by Miss R Yarrow


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The multiple benefits of multi-dimensional collaboration, 6 Jun 2009
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Delegating Work: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges (Pocket Mentor) (Paperback)
This is one of the volumes in the Harvard Business Press "Pocket Mentor" series, each of which offers "immediate solutions to common challenges managers face on the job every day." No matter where you are, "these portable guides enable you to tackle the daily demands of your work with greater speed, savvy, and effectiveness." In this instance, the advice is provided by Thomas L. Brown, author of more than 400 published articles as well as The Anatomy of Fire: Sparking a New Spirit of Enterprise. His subject is delegation of work. He explains why and how it offers significant advantages to those who delegate (freeing up more time for them to concentrate on tasks that require their particular skills and authority), to their direct reports (increasing their motivation by helping them to enhance existing skills and develop new ones) "and it can also strengthen trust and communication between you and your group. For your company, effective delegation ensures that the right person, at the right level, performs a task, thereby improving overall efficiency and productivity."

Within a narrative of only 53 pages plus a section of "Tips and Tools" for delegating, a self-audit, FAQs, and additional sources (Pages 55-77), Brown manages to cover most of the key points insofar as what effective delegation is (and isn't) is concerned. As is also true of the other booklets in this series, the one provides a number of checklists such as the benefits of delegating common arguments against delegating and appropriate responses to them, practices that will help the reader to overcome barriers to effective delegation, how to establish the right environment for delegating, how to select the best approach (i.e. by task by project, or by function), how to know what not to delegate, steps for delegating to the right person, steps for communicating a delegated assignment, how to provide support, how to handle reverse delegation (i.e. "when a staff person wants to return the job to you or expects you to solve problems and make decisions"), and how to "return the monkey" to the "back" on which it belongs by "delegating so that it sticks."

In recent years especially, there has been a significant increase in the number of books and articles in which their authors explain how to "grow" employees so that, over time, ordinary workers can accomplish extraordinary results. That is indeed a worthy objective. I cannot think of a greater challenge that supervisors now face...and I cannot think of better ways to meet that challenge than by becoming a skillful mentor and a skill delegator. It is no coincidence that, during exit interviews of highly valued employees who have accepted a job elsewhere, three of their most common complaints are that (1) performance expectations were either vague or inconsistent, (2) there was insufficient feedback (e.g. constructive criticism) from supervisors, and (3) performance appraisals were unfair and/or inaccurate. The advice that Jordan offers in this volume can help to reduce (if not eliminate) these complaints. Better yet, immediate and significant improvement of performance management at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise will help to reduce (if not eliminate) the loss of highly-valued employees. To say that a worker has "high potential" and then do little (if anything) to develop that potential is unconscionable.

Those in need of wider and deeper coverage of this important subject are urged to check out the sources that Brown recommends (Page 77) as well as other volumes in this series, notably Coaching People, Giving Feedback, Leading People, Managing Crises, and Managing Time. Also, Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter's 12: The Elements of Great managing (Based on Gallop's ten million workplace interviews), Howard M. Guttman's Great Business Teams: Cracking the Code for Standout Performance, Guy Kawasaki's Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition, Erika Anderson's Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers, and The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World co-authored by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Martin Linksky.

Note: My rating is of this volume's quality and value as a booklet.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Covers the basics, 20 Jan 2014
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Covers the basics but is quite obvious and doesn't tackle issues such as delegating when team members are already stressed or to those that aren't exactly junior to you.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very Basic, 14 Jan 2014
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Just common sense. If you have been managing for more than 6 months, there's probably nothing here for you; if you haven't, I suggest you talk to your manager, or a peer, for some pointers. You'll come out with the same type of advice, minus the pretense of consulting expertise (I would hope!) of the this book.
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Delegating Work: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges (Pocket Mentor)
Delegating Work: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges (Pocket Mentor) by Harvard Business School Press (Paperback - 1 Feb 2008)
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