“HANDS” On management can work

Some managers recognize staff as steady places to put their feet, others view them as objects cluttering the view.

In her book “Execution is the Strategy,” Laura Stack reminds leaders that they have staff for a reason. Those staff members can provide hands other than the ones attached to a boss’s body. In fact, she emphasizes managerial success by taking the helping HANDS approach. That means:

  • Handpick the people. Select them with an eye for the skill set(s) they have, and once they are on board get to know them well;
  • Assign duties carefully. Meet with team leads and parcel out the range of tasks they have authority over. Define the limits of their authority carefully to avoid duplication, but make sure there aren’t any cracks to fall through;
  • Nurture initiative and innovation. Give people the opportunity to surprise with their solutions to tasks assigned;
  • Don’t abdicate. Delegation is not abdication. Carefully consider how much authority to delegate with the responsibilities parceled out, but never give it all away. Keep a high-level eye on both team and individual workflow; and,
  • Study the results. Has delegation reduced the managerial task list to a manageable length? If not, resolve to handle only high-value items that are best done as part of the managerial job.