One of our colleagues enjoys reading Urban Dictionary, where readers submit tongue-in-cheek definitions of words and phrases they’ve dreamed up. In the April 5th edition, our colleague noticed a definition that hits close to home for many managers and their team members:
Office Quarterback: A manager who is infamously known for handing off work and other useless assignments to you that they could and should be doing themselves.
Example: The office quarterback just handed off a bunch of her assignments to me, AGAIN!
It’s frustrating when managers become Office Quarterbacks. They don’t understand that there’s a fine line between delegating duties and just dumping an unwanted task upon someone else. Ideally, delegating should be about empowering others to grow and leveraging your team members’ strengths, while sharing the load and cultivating your subordinates’ talents so you can hand your designated employee(s) the reins when you get promoted. We touched upon delegating in a recent blog post: To Delegate Well, Find the Right Person for the Job.
When you put into writing the expectations for the task you’re delegating, meet with your designated employee and:
- Ask good questions about the path your employee plans to take. Walk him/her through writing a plan on how to accomplish this project.
- Set up a second meeting where you and your employee review the plan together, including the time frame.
- Set up as many follow-up meetings as you and your employee need, ensuring that he/she will take the process seriously.