Clifton Park, NY
San Angelo, TX
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Your seminar was AWESOME!!! I took your advice on delegating
more and being less of a micromanager, and what a difference
it’s made! I have one question. Some of my people seem to be
struggling with duties I offloaded from my plate onto theirs. Is
it possible to delegate too much?
Colleen in Montgomery,
Absolutely, and that’s the
manager’s dilemma. You want to delegate as much as possible so
you can focus on the things no one else can do, but not push
people past their level of competence (called the Peter
Principle). There’s no magic way to know where that line is, so
the only thing we as managers can do is train, delegate, and
monitor their progress. When you conclude that someone is never
going to be able to do a task, don’t hesitate to give it to
someone who’s better suited for it.
Thanks for your question.
- Glenn in Nashville, TN
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the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may
remain anonymous if your prefer.
I spent a lot of time on the phone
with tech support when I first began using computers in the
These days, I’d rather have a root canal
without anesthesia than call tech support for help with
computers, cell phones, cable TV – and just about anything else.
I’ve come to expect them to give me the wrong answer more
often than not.
Recently I was trying to solve a problem
with a printer. Each computer in my company has a laser printer
attached directly to it, but we have a large industrial printer
we call “The Beast” that’s connected to my office manager’s
I couldn’t print from my laptop to
The Beast over the Wi-Fi connection, and thought that connecting
it directly to the network hub might solve the problem. I went
to a local computer store and explained to a “Tech Support
Specialist” what I was trying to do. He took a product off the
shelf and assured me it was exactly what I needed. When I got
back to my office, I discovered that he sold me the wrong item.
I was frustrated that my problem wasn’t solved.
frustrated that I had wasted so much time.
I was frustrated
that this so called specialist was wrong.
asked myself what part I played in this situation. Was it
foolish to trust this guy to solve my problem?
It’s reasonable for any customer to
expect businesses to train their employees how to answer
customers’ questions correctly, and admit when they don’t know
Eventually my office manager discovered the
problem was that The Beast wasn’t set to be shared in Microsoft
While she’s more technically literate than most
administrative employees, it wasn’t her technical literacy that
solved the problem. It was that she:
1. Cared more than
the “specialist” did
2. Had more patience than I did
Has highly developed problem-solving skills which allowed her to
methodically think through the situation.
I made three
mistakes in my attempt to solve the problem:
1. I was
impatient and looking for a quick fix
2. I was trying to buy
a solution instead of figuring it out
3. I looked to a source
with the best technical skills, when I should have looked to a
source with the best problem-solving skills
all about solving problems. No matter what field you’re in,
being good at solving problems is the surest way to make
yourself a superstar in your company.
To Your Success,
To see how powerful this career principle is, walk into your
boss’s office right now and say “I want to be known as a problem
solver. Hit me with something!” Even if there are no problems to
be solved, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the
employee who brings all his problems to the boss and expects her
to solve them for him.
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