Delegating authority isn’t an abdication to faith

The first step in being a more effective manager is to delegate decisions about how work is done, to those that are doing the work. Let them decide the right way to work. If you do this, you can focus on results and stop worrying about why people aren’t doing things exactly the way that you would do them.

But, in addition to delegating authority, you also have to make sure people are poised to make good decisions. Nobody is born with an inherent ability to make good decisions. That’s a blessing and a curse. The curse is that we all make bad decisions because we allow unskillful emotions to bear upon the situation.

The blessing is that anyone can make good decisions and anyone can learn to become aware of unskillful emotions and eliminate them. But this requires you, as a manager, first making sure that you’re making good decisions and that you know how you can fall prey to irrational conclusions. Then, you must teach those that you delegate decision making to, to make good decisions.

Delegating authority has never been about blind faith in any human being to make wise decisions. Quite the contrary, it necessitates vigilant optimism that people can and will learn to have your back.