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The Wolf and the Shepherd

A wolf had been prowling around a flock of sheep for a long time, and the shepherd watched very anxiously to prevent him from carrying off a Lamb. But the wolf did not try to do any harm. Instead he seemed to be helping the shepherd take care of the sheep. At last the shepherd got so used to seeing the wolf, that he forgot how wicked he could be.

One day he even went so far as to leave his flock in the wolf’s care while he went on an errand. But when he came back and saw how many of the flock had been killed and carried off, he knew how foolish was to trust a wolf. “I have been rightly served; why did I trust my sheep to a Wolf?” He exclaimed.

Interesting story, isn’t it? It is all about how delegation can go wrong when you do not know whom to trust to delegate. When we grow in our careers, we are constantly told by our mentors that we need to delegate more so that we can achieve more results by sharing the burden. In this process of delegation, slowly we get into a habit of pushing stuff from our table to our subordinates. Sometimes we get so lethargic that we start completing depending upon them and leave the entire management to them without even thinking or overseeing how the tasks assigned are being met or delivered.

Delegation is not bad, infact it really helps you achieve more in the same timeframe, but you should be very sure what you are delegating and to whom. For example: You may be a VP heading an important business unit in a large organization and the most important task for you is to ensure the business grows from quarter to quarter. In this pursuit, you may leave the team management to your immediate subordinate because you are sure that the person is extremely good at his work and expect that he/she will drive the team as well. But that is not necessary how things may pan out; life is not so simple and easy. Doing great work all by you is one thing and getting work done from others is completely different. Skills that are required to manage the team are quite different from skills that are required to efficiently complete tasks all by yourself. To be able to be a good team manager, you need people skills, persuasion skills, you need to be empathetic and understanding to others problems and weaknesses.

Incase you trust your subordinate to manage your team in your absence and if he turns out to be a bad people’s person than one day everything that you build with hard work may just crumble down. Let not that happen to your team, judge the person well and before you entrust crucial responsibility to someone train them well on important elements before your delegate completely.

Vikypedia Nuggets is an attempt to bring forward some of the old wisdoms that we had once learnt and accepted but have forgotten in our daily rigmarole. We will be happy to know your feedback.

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