- TELL: Ownership for the correct execution of the task is retained by the delegator, but the work of delivering the task begins to be executed by the delegatee under close instruction of the delegator. This often involves more work for the delegator, since they will probably conduct some elements of the task almost intuitively, and will need to think through these components so that the tacit knowledge can be made explicit and transferable. In this way the delegator initially takes more responsibility for the task, not less. But the delegator also takes responsibility for the development of the delegatee through this phase. The goal of this initial phase is about enabling the delegatee to experience and observe the task in a low-risk environment.
- SELL: As the delegatee grows to better understand what the task involves, ‘why’ questions will inevitably and healthily emerge. These questions are crucial to the delegatee understanding what defines the quality of the task, and for developing discernment and criteria for evaluating the quality of their work themselves. During this phase the delegator transfers the ‘values’ which reflect correct execution of the task, and in so doing introduces the potential for variety in the approach providing the end result conforms to the requisite quality. This is a big investment in the delegatee, but it enables the delegatee to take more of the concern for ‘correct’ execution.
- COACH: The opportunities for flexibility and adaptation of the approach introduced in the SELL phase enables the delegatee to make the task their own, and the relationship between the delegator and the delegatee becomes one of ‘Coaching‘ as the delegator seeks to encourage the development of the skills of the delegatee in a non-directive manner, anbling the delegatee to innovate around their own strengths and perhaps even to surpass the capabilities of the delegator (which is the ultimate compliment to the delegator as coach).
- EMPOWER: As the delegatee grows in their own ability to ensure the correct execution of the task, the delegator can back right off that particular area of responsibility. However, for as long as the relationship with the delegatee (even if only as a sounding board or critical friend or champion) is productive, the delegator can continue to help the delegatee to refine their powers. Eventually however, we hope that the student will surpass the master, and will add their own insight into the knowledge-base of the business.
- And at some point, the delegatee will become delegator, and begin their own process of growing a new individual to take responsibility for the task.
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