CAREER-VIEW MIRROR - biographies of colleagues in the automotive and mobility industries.

Side Mirror: Delegating Part 2 - Delegating with the Guiding Principles of Fulfilling Performance

September 11, 2023 Andy Follows Episode 133
CAREER-VIEW MIRROR - biographies of colleagues in the automotive and mobility industries.
Side Mirror: Delegating Part 2 - Delegating with the Guiding Principles of Fulfilling Performance
Show Notes Transcript

You know you "should" delegate more, but that doesn't make it any easier.

This is the second of a two part Side Mirror on delegating. The first part (Episode 132) addresses the Purpose and Paradigms of Effective Delegation and in this part I'm going to walk you through the Guiding Principles of Fulfilling Performance and how we can use them to delegate effectively.

At Aquilae we approach delivering results and growing the people through our mission of enabling Fulfilling Performance. I explain this concept of Fulfilling Performance and how to enable it in episodes 60-62.

In short we want to see people performing at a high level and feeling fulfilled by using as much of their talent, intelligence, creativity and capability as possible. We want their underlying capability to be increasing over time and we wish for them to be energised and fulfilled, or literally made whole, by the meaningful work that they are doing so that they are also great partners, parents and all round human beings.

To help us enable Fulfilling Performance, we have our four Guiding Principles: Know why. Be Clear. Equip yourself. And Support others. Those principles each address needs that are so fundamental to how humans perform I’m confident that they can help guide you on your mission too.

Supporting Episodes:
Episode 60: Side Mirror: Fulfilling Performance 1 - The origin story of Aquilae’s vision and mission.
Episode 61: Side Mirror: Fulfilling Performance 2 - Reflecting on your experience of Fulfilling Performance in your own career.
Episode 62: Side Mirror: Fulfilling Performance 3 - How to apply the Fulfilling Performance Framework.
Episode 99: Flow, Purpose and Growing People
Episode 120: The Power of Paradigms
Episode 129: Leading from Behind

Thank you to our sponsors: 

ASKE Consulting

Email: hello@askeconsulting.co.uk

Aquilae

Email: cvm@aquilae.co.uk


Episode Directory on Instagram @careerviewmirror  


If you enjoy listening to our guests career stories, please follow CAREER-VIEW MIRROR in your podcast app. 


Episode recorded on 25 August 2023.

Andy Follows:

I am sitting in lovely Siesta Key, florida. I'm coming from Bangkok in Thailand, prague and the Czech Republic, cairo in Egypt, auckland, new Zealand, london, england. Welcome to Career View Mirror, the automotive podcast that goes behind the scenes with key players in the industry looking back over their careers so far, showing insights to help you with your own journey. I'm your host, andy Follows. Hello listeners and welcome to this side mirror episode of Career View Mirror. If you're a regular listener, thank you and welcome back. You'll be aware that most of our episodes feature interviews with people with a link to the automotive industry who kindly share their life and career journeys with us. We celebrate their careers, listen to their stories and learn from their experiences. From time to time we also publish the side mirror episodes, which introduce concepts and tools that feature in our signature towards fulfilling performance development program. Please feel free to share any of our episodes with people you lead, parent or mentor. For more details about our Towards Fulfilling Performance program, you can contact us at CVM at aquiliecouk. You'll find that email address in the show notes to this episode. This is the second of a two-part side mirror on delegating. The first part address the purpose and paradigms of effective delegation and in this part I'm going to walk you through the guiding principles of fulfilling performance and how we can use them to delegate effectively.

Andy Follows:

At Aquilae, we approach delivering results and growing the people through our mission of enabling Fulfilling Performance. I explain this concept of Fulfilling Performance and how to enable it in episodes 60-62. In short, we want to see people performing at a high level and feeling fulfilled by using as much of their talent, intelligence, creativity and capability as possible. We want their underlying capability to be increasing over time, and we wish for them to be energized and fulfilled, or literally made whole, by the meaningful work that they're doing, so that they're also great partners, parents and all-round human beings. To help us enable fulfilling performance, we have our four guiding principles Know why, Be clear, Equip yourself and Support others. Those principles each address needs that are so fundamental to how humans perform. I'm confident that they can help guide you on your mission too. Whether or not you want to adopt enabling Fulfilling Performance as your own mission, the underlying paradigm behind how we enable it remains valid. That paradigm is that it is the leader's responsibility to create the environment that will enable team members to be appropriately stretched, to grow and to feel fulfilled, and it's the individual's responsibility, as far as possible at every step, to know why, be clear, equip themselves and support others. Within such an environment, delegating tasks to the right team member becomes an integrated, contributing factor towards developing their capability. Let me give you those guiding principles again, and then we can go through them one by one and apply them to the task of delegating. They are Know why, be clear, equip yourself and support others, and paying attention to them will set you up for higher levels of performance.

Andy Follows:

Let me take a moment to tell you about our sponsors. This episode is brought to you by ASKE Consulting, who are experts in executive search, resourcing solutions and talent management across all sectors of the automotive industry in the UK and Europe. I've known them for almost 20 years and I can think of no more fitting sponsor for Career-View Mirror. They're the business we go to at Aquilae when we're looking for talent for our clients and for projects that we're working on. ASKE was founded by Andrew McMillan, whose own automotive career includes board-level positions with car brands and leasing companies. All ASKE consultants have extensive client-side experience, which means they bring valuable insight and perspective for both their employer and candidate customers. My earliest experience of working with Andrew was back in 2004 when he helped me hire regional managers for my leasing sales team at Alphabet. More recently, when Aquilae was helping a US client to establish a car subscription business, ASKE Consulting was alongside us, helping us to develop our people strategy and to identify and bring on board suitable talent. Clients we've referred to ASKE have had an equally positive experience. Andrew and the team at ASKE are genuinely interested in the long-term outcomes for you and the people they place with you. They even offer the reassurance of a two-year performance guarantee, which means they have skin in the game when working with you. If you're keen to secure the most talented and high-potential people to accelerate your business and gain competitive advantage, do get in touch with them and let them know I sent you. You can email Andrew and the team at hello@ askeconsulting. co. uk or check out their website for more details and more client feedback. At www. askeconsulting. co. uk, ask is spelled A-S-K-E. You'll find these contact details in the show notes for this episode.

Andy Follows:

Okay, let's get back to our episode, starting with know why. You both need to know why. Does the person to whom you're delegating this task know that you take seriously your responsibility to grow the people? Do they recognize that appropriate delegation, carried out effectively, is a key means of developing others. Do they appreciate that, done well, it increases their capability and confidence and increases the capability of your department and the value that they and your team are adding to the business, helping to secure all your futures?

Andy Follows:

Do they know why you're delegating this particular task to them and how adding it to their repertoire will benefit them in the future? Do they recognize how this task plays to their strengths and why it's a good fit for them, in the sadly still all too rare event that they're clear about their personal purpose? If this task aligns with their purpose, are they conscious of that? If so, this will unlock previously unavailable levels of motivation, discretionary effort, resourcefulness and resilience. And if they're not yet clear on their personal purpose and this is the biggest know why of them all, what are you doing to encourage and support them to identify it, so that you can all benefit from its powerful and positive effect? And finally, do they understand the why for this specific task? What's it for? Why are we doing it? How will it contribute to the overall mission of the team, department and organization?

Andy Follows:

The more they understand what the piece of work is for and how it fits into the chain of actions that come before and after it, the better able they will be to adapt on the go when they come up against obstacles. They won't have to keep running back to you to help them choose which new path to take. If they know why this is being done and how it needs to fit in, they'll be able to choose the option most likely to get them and you the desired outcome. Speaking of the desired outcome, this is where our second guiding principle be clear comes into play. Explain what a good outcome would look like and, where appropriate, give them freedom to work out how to get there themselves. If you're tempted to dictate the approach, ask yourself are my demands fundamental to a successful outcome, or am I simply enforcing what's merely a personal preference? If there are good reasons why the outcome has to conform to certain standards or guidelines, make sure that they know what they are. If you need the outcome to mirror exactly a previous iteration, show them that. If you don't need it to be an exact replica and would rather unleash their creativity to create something new, give them the essential parameters, but don't distract them and potentially curtail that creativity by showing them how it's been done before.

Andy Follows:

Personally, I think it's harder to come up with an original solution when you have a perfectly good answer to the problem staring you in the face. Now that you've handed over the task, remember, as their manager, you still retain responsibility for the outcome. You probably don't just want to walk away and forget about it until the due date. If you know they struggle with prioritization, don't ignore them until the deadline and then have an awkward situation for both of you. Encourage and coach them during the briefing of the task to build in review milestones along the way. Coaching them whilst you're briefing them on the objective helps them benefit from your experience without you taking over the task or dictating how it should be done. Building in review milestones helps break the task down, allows you to measure and manage performance against expectations during the process and gives you peace of mind that you're going to not be faced with any unpleasant surprises when it's too late to do anything about it.

Andy Follows:

People sometimes ask me how do I get them to do it more like how I want it to be done without telling them how to do it? First, I'll check with whoever's asking that there's a legitimate reason to expect it to be done a certain way and that this isn't just down to their personal preference, then I give them the answer that I was given when I asked the same question during a BMW leadership program years ago. That was, rather than teaching them exactly how you would do, it, teach them how you think and, I would add, share your paradigms. If they take this on board, their actions and behaviours and the style and quality of their output are much more likely to align with your own. Another great approach I learned to help ensure the quality of work that you've delegated, which has saved hours of misguided effort, is this After you've briefed them on the task, you say this just to make sure that I've explained this well enough.

Andy Follows:

Please could you tell me what you think I want? Notice, I say to make sure that I have explained this well enough and not to make sure that you have understood. The onus is still on me at this stage to communicate effectively. This is about my communication skills, not their listening skills. I can't tell you how many times I've used this, and it's immediately flagged up a floor in my explanation and usually also reminded me of something else I wanted to add. When it comes to timelines, if possible, let them tell you when they can do it by and then make a note of that. It's easier to hold people accountable for commitments they've made themselves. Bear in mind that not everyone is great at estimating how long tasks will take them or at managing their priorities once they're left unsupervised. Until you've established the individual's level of capability in those areas, you might want to check in with them in between to ask whether they're still on track.

Andy Follows:

Our third guiding principle is equip yourself. In this case, it's not you you're equipping, but you're helping the person to whom you're delegating the task to equip themselves. The range of equipment we're talking about is comprehensive and covers five broad areas their knowledge, skills, experience, mindset and resources. If there's specific knowledge they need, are they aware of that? We don't always know what we don't know. If they are aware and know they don't have that knowledge, do they know where to get it?

Andy Follows:

When it comes to skill, you may have heard me say trust, intent, manage, competence. The best intentions in the world can't overcome a fundamental lack of skill. Do they have the base level of skill required to do what you're asking them to do? Here's where your own self-awareness comes into play too. Your assessment of the outcome they'll deliver needs to be objective. If you know you suffer from perfectionism, can you suspend your own perfectionist tendencies and accept a result that's good enough, even if it's not exactly to the standard you would have done it? Do they have enough experience to accomplish the task?

Andy Follows:

We gain experience by doing things we haven't done before, but if you over stretch someone, the effect can be counterproductive. They can be overwhelmed, fail badly and suffer a setback in confidence. There's a lot of encouragement out there to allow people to fail. We should clarify that that's not good advice if a failure will be potentially catastrophic or seriously damaging to them and, by consequence, to you as their manager. Before you have bought the idea of delegating this task on grounds of experience, can you identify where gaps in their experience constitute a risk and mitigate those risks somehow? Could you section off part of the task where you or someone else will get involved to support them or use your own experience? When briefing the task, you might say something like you're free to accomplish this task however you see fit within the parameters we've agreed, except for this particular component, which I want you to do like this for the following reasons or I don't expect you to be ready for this part, so come back to me when you get to it and I'll help you work out how to do it. Remember, your role as manager is to balance the level of challenge with their capability so that they're stretched and growing but they don't get overwhelmed.

Andy Follows:

Now let's look at their mindset. If you consider levels of confidence along a spectrum, some people will have less than the optimum level of confidence about trying something new and others will have more than the optimum level. A lack of confidence will lead them to being hesitant and over cautious. They'll require encouragement, maybe break the task down into steps, point out where they've already demonstrated elsewhere that they have the required capability and remind them that you and their teammates are here to support. Excess confidence can make people careless and oblivious to blind spots. Here you'll do well to turn their attention to potential pitfalls, slow them down and get them to talk to you in a bit more detail about how they plan to approach the task. Your tone can still be encouraging and supportive as you ask them questions that gently bring to their attention aspects of the task and potential risks or barriers to success that they may not have automatically considered.

Andy Follows:

Sometimes we think of mindset as an attitude. Attitude has a multiplying effect on our effort. Are they hungry to do this? Our first guiding principle know why is our key to maximising their attitude. When we explain why we're delegating this task to them, along with the why of the task itself, we're investing time in supporting them to approach this task with the right attitude and, as I said earlier, if they know what their personal purpose is and have shared this with you, then ideally you can both identify how this task will allow them to bring their purpose to bear in tackling it. This is the best case scenario, when the delegated task is aligned with their own individual purpose and they can see the connection. For our last consideration, under the guiding principle of equip yourself, we want to look at resources. Are they equipped with the resources they need to accomplish this task effectively, and this includes time.

Andy Follows:

Delegation as a development opportunity requires forward planning on your part. You need to know the strengths of the individuals in your team and, as far as possible, what gets them into a state of flow. If they've identified their purpose and are able to talk openly about it with you, then so much the better. You're then picking tasks to delegate that they'll be suited to and keen to get to grips with Leaving something to the last minute and then dropping it on someone else as an urgent task is dumping, not delegation, and deserves to be responded to with the quote attributed to Bob Carter poor planning on your part doesn't necessitate an emergency on mine. The best leaders I work with delegate tasks as soon as they arise, push back on tasks that don't actually need to be done at all, and negotiate for reasonable resources, including time for their people to accomplish them. We've looked at delegating this task using the guiding principles of know why, be clear and equip yourself. That just leaves us with support others. How can I or others in the team help to set this individual up for success in the task that I'm delegating?

Andy Follows:

I came across a lovely analogy to help with this that I love to share. I'm sorry, I can't recall where I got it from, so I can't credit the original source. It goes like this Imagine you're a child and I'm teaching you how to hang a shirt on a hanger by yourself. This is going to take a little investment of time from me to do, but it's a life skill you'll definitely need and once you're able to do it yourself, it'll save me a few minutes each week not having to hang up your clothes. So I say to you we're going to do this in four steps. Step one you watch me hang the shirt on the hanger. Step two you help me hang the shirt on the hanger. Step three I help you hang the shirt on the hanger. And step four I watch you hang the shirt on the hanger.

Andy Follows:

I've used this approach if you watch me, you help me, I help you. I watch you countless times as a progressive way to transfer responsibility for completing a task to someone who hasn't done it before. I might ask them if there are any potential barriers to success that they can see, and are there any ways that I can help them that are not about me doing the task but leveraging capability that they may not have at their disposal. I'm going to let them know that I'm available if they get stuck. I don't want them sitting there wasting resources because they don't know how to proceed. I might share my paradigm that if they come to me because they're stuck, I'll appreciate being approached, and if they don't, I'll be disappointed that they were happy to remain stuck. If they bring me problems that I think they should have been able to solve themselves, that's valuable data for me on where they are actually at and gaps in their current capability that I'm responsible for helping them to fill. Of course, it doesn't have to be me that does it. Are there others who can help Someone in the team who's good at this task or aspects of it and is well placed to take them through the? You watch me, you help me, I help you, I watch you process or be on hand to answer questions. If they do get stuck and I'm not around or they're still a bit embarrassed to ask, you can try and make yourself as approachable as possible, but sometimes your role as their manager gets in their head a little and can make them over cautious about seeking your help. If we're talking about senior roles and bigger projects, do they have a mentor or coach who they can also draw on to help them make a good job of this?

Andy Follows:

By this stage, we've used the guiding principles to delegate this task or project in a way that takes into account the fundamental needs of the individual we're delegating to. That we need to meet if we want them to perform at a high level and experience growth and fulfilment. In the process, we've used know why, be clear, equip yourself and support others. They know why I'm delegating this to them and why the task or project is important. They're clear on what's expected and how we'll measure performance against those expectations. They're well equipped to carry out the task and they have the support in place to help them perform it to a high level. If you follow these guiding principles, you can congratulate yourself on having done everything you can to delegate this task intentionally and in a way that sets your delegate up for success. Genuinely well done for that. However, keep in mind that, as well as remaining responsible for the output, you still have a role to play in this process. How you carry out that role will determine the extent to which this act of delegation truly serves to grow the capability and confidence of the team member to whom you've delegated it.

Andy Follows:

In the Seven Hammets, stephen Covey shares the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs. He uses it to illustrate the importance of what he calls balancing production with production capability. We need to take care of the people or machinery that's producing goods or services for us. In the fable, the farmer gets greedy and decides that one golden egg a day from the goose is not enough. He cuts open the goose to extract more eggs, and you can imagine how that ends. At some point in this process, your delegate is going to come back to you and show you what they've done. If it was a simple task, they may come to you with what they consider to be the finished outcome. If it's a bigger project, this could be your first review meeting. How you behave now is going to influence how they behave going forward and how much value they will derive from taking on this task, how much they will ultimately grow and at what pace, and how much future work you'll be able to free yourself from. So it's pretty important.

Andy Follows:

The phrase that I repeat to myself when I realise I'm heading into one of these moments is ры Don't kill the goose, don't kill the goose. I'm reminding myself to consider the long-term production capability of this individual that I can either unleash or stifle. Based on how I react in the next few seconds and minutes, they're going to bring you their egg and your job is to evaluate it in such a way that it leaves them wanting to bring you more, increasingly golden eggs over time. This egg may be very bad. No matter how bad it is, I would urge that, as you work out what to do with it. You take care that you don't harm the goose, let alone kill the goose. I hope this idea of don't kill the goose helps you to take a breath Next time one of your team presents you with their latest egg and gives you time to choose your response wisely.

Andy Follows:

I'll leave you to reflect on how you tend to respond and how that might affect your delegate. For example, I love writing and words and grammar, and so it takes a special effort not to make corrections to someone's written work that I realise are just a matter of my personal preference or style. If they bring you an egg that's half as good as you expected, you're currently half an egg down. The way you play this will determine whether next time they hesitate to bring you an egg at all or whether over time they bring you multiple, increasingly golden eggs. You want them to be more willing and able to take on the next task after this, not less.

Andy Follows:

You want to build confidence and capability through this process of delegation and when they do start to bring you golden eggs, give credit where it's due. If you take their output into a meeting, make sure you talk about their involvement and they get to hear that you talked about their contribution, or take them with you into the meeting to present the results themselves, if that's appropriate. Most people take special pride in work that has their name on it. When they know they're being credited for the work that's delegated, it helps to reinforce that this is genuinely for their growth. Giving credit where it's due motivates, builds confidence and makes it clear to others that you're the leader of a capable team. As a final thought, people who demonstrate that they can grow other people, that they can increase their capability and their value to the organisation and that they can lead a cohesive team understandably tend to get entrusted with bigger teams and more responsibility.

Andy Follows:

You've been listening to Career View Mirror with me, andy Follies. I hope that you've enjoyed this episode and found it helpful. If you have some comments or questions, we'd love to hear from you and our contact details are in the show notes to this episode. If you enjoy listening to our episodes, please could you do me a huge favour and share them with someone you lead parent or mentor or a friend you think will also appreciate them. Thank you to our sponsors for this episode Ask, consulting and aquilie and thank you to the Career View Mirror team, without whom we would not be able to share our guest's life and career stories, and, above all, thank you to you for listening.

Andy Follows:

No matter how hard you try, no matter how hard working you are, you're never going to be able to do it on your own. It's just not possible. You know, at the end of the day, you're steering your own destiny. So if it's not happening for you, you're not seeing what you want out there then go out there and connect. Don't rely on others. You have to do it yourself. You have to take control. If you've got an idea, if you've got a thought about something that might be successful, if you've got a passion to do something yourself that you just haven't quite got there, do it. Take a risk, take a chance, stick your neck out. What's the worst that can happen? Fall down. Okay, you pick yourself up and you try again.