Insecurity, which in turn leads to fear, is an important enemy of
delegation. More and better delegation usually occurs when managers
experience higher levels of security. The question, however, is what
managers can do not to be afraid to delegate or to overcome any fear of
failure in this regard. Apart from referring to the importance of
delegation and the excuses managers sometimes use for failing to
delegate, an attempt is made in this article to identify particular measures
that managers can introduce to alleviate fear of delegation.
The old adage that, `If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself'
does not apply anymore. Demands facing managers these days are so complex
and diverse that their new role of `getting things done through others' has become
more relevant. Managers become more and more responsible for assessing the
potential of subordinates, encouraging subordinate participation, ensuring that
they get the necessary training, and developing their skills ± all of which could be
done successfully through the application of delegation, a core management
skills. It can even be argued that delegation is so important that the real measure
of a manager's effectiveness lies in his or her ability to get things done
successfully through other people.
However, the effective practice of delegation should not be taken for granted.
Managers often fail to delegate effectively, or even to delegate at all, because of
psychological barriers. The greatest psychological barrier to delegation is fear. A
manager may be afraid that if subordinates fail to do work properly, the
manager's performance will suffer. Fear for the consequences of delegation
makes managers sometimes argue: `I can do it better myself', `It takes too much
time to explain what I want done', `My subordinates are not capable'. The result
is that such managers may find it difficult in future to identify a person in their
institution who would...