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Real Delegation: How to Get People to Do Things for You - And Do Them Well Paperback – 16 Dec 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 01 edition (16 Dec. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0273663224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0273663225
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

The sub-title says it all - it’s a book about getting people to do things for you and do them well. And for ‘things’ read not just delegated tasks but tasks that are already part of your team member’s job description or even tasks you’re managing yourself. Unlike other delegation books, because the process in this book doesn't depend on you exercising your managerial authority, it’s also excellent for getting things done by your peers in, say, a cross-functional project team that you’re leading.

From the Author

If you have any questions about this or any of my other books, please email me at and I'll do my best to answer them. And if you'd like to know about a new series of books I'm working on, you can find out more by visiting my web site

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Format: Paperback
Having been an ordinary, overworked manager for years, I was attracted to this book initially by the clear layout and short paragraphs. It looked easy to read, with the shaded paragraphs emphasising the key learning points. After all, who has time to read management books? And as the blurb on the jacket says, if it was that easy. I’d be doing it already.
I embarked on the book over the weekend, and finding it indeed quite readable, I was half way through when I realised that to make the most of this book I needed to take it more slowly and reflect on the way in which the author’s experience struck a chord with my own – which it often did. Chapter Eight of the book points out the need for ‘learning reviews’ with your people, and each chapter gives you the opportunity to do your own learning review with the ‘In Short’ summary at the end. By doing this, I felt I got the most out of the book, and also gave myself the chance to try out some of the ideas.
The most important lesson I learned from this book was to delegate the management of the task, not just the task itself. I realised that people were waiting for me to manage the task for them, and this led to frustration all round. I had often been ‘doing it right, but getting it wrong’ [Chapter Nine].
This book does not provide easy solutions – I believe there are none – but it does provide a very accessible approach to improving your performance in the key management task of delegation. Definitely worth a go!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for something other than the usual "trainer's fayre" on delegation and found it with Ms Smart's book. I like the idea of practical advice from an "overworked manager" and found her writing style engaging and accessible - using straightforward language to cover some psychological approaches. Most books on delegation are task orientated with much use of checklists and so forth. Ms Smart's approach is, in my view, more practical and more useful. She looks at the psychology of delegation and aims to build up the confidence of the person doing the delegation by helping you to re-examine your personal strengths and by reinterpreting your "weaknesses" in a more positive light. She then encourages you to work with the person doing the task to build it into a useful development opportunity.

This first half of the book I very much enjoyed. The second half of the book is about structuring the delegation process and is fairly standard stuff which, although well written, I felt dragged a bit.

This is a well written book that can be easily read in a few hours. It has nice short chapters so you can take five or ten minutes out of your busy schedule and still cover some important points. My only criticism of the book is that it is solely about manager - subordinate delegation (where there is a formal line of authority). In this modern world we are frequently working in areas where we have no formal authority over the person we need to involve in a task - for example in a cross-departmental team or a voluntary group. While much of Ms Smart's core message still applies, some additional material on trying to involve people who can say "no" with no real comeback would have been really valuable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xaa688584) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0xaa68850c) out of 5 stars Great book with helpful and practical insights 21 Feb. 2012
By Angus McGonagle - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well written and interesting book with practical insights and applications. Smart's books strike a great balance between the logical and emotional skills required to manage effectively.
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