Leadership Advice from Ronald Reagan
Here’s a good quote from Reagan:
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided on is being carried out.
Note three things.
First, delegate authority–not tasks. I’m not saying there’s no place for delegating tasks, but if that’s your focus it won’t scale. You have to delegate responsibility areas and give people the authority to carry them out. (Responsibility in the final sense, of course, rests with the leader–he or she is the one ultimately accountable for results.)
Second, that means that you consequently need to let your people act–if you keep interfering and micromanaging, you haven’t truly delegated authority.
Third, notice that Reagan didn’t simply say “don’t interfere.” Which is interesting because the one main criticism of his leadership is that he was too hands-off. What he said was don’t interfere as long as the policy you decided on is being carried out.
There are defined outcomes. Let the person find their own way to accomplish them. If the policy that was decided on is not being carried out, then you need help the person make some course corrections.