Management is all about achieving objectives through others. Successful leaders have learned the art of delegation.

Rule number one is that delegation without definition is abandonment not delegation. Delegation is serious business. The five-paragraph military order is a useful example of providing instructions when handing off responsibility for a project or functional area of an organization:
  1. Situation: What is the situation or current state?
  2. Mission: What is the Mission or Goal and why?
  3. Execution: Guidelines, Strategies and tactics, Limitations and Policies
  4. Administration/Logistics: Supporting resources and required coordination
  5. Command: Reporting order and reporting expectations
The second rule is to decide what part of the organizational pie you should not delegate. This rule harkens back to Management Candy, M &M’s. You should retain responsibility for the main thing(s) your organization’s success depends on. That does not mean that you should not delegate the effort related to task, program, and projects, but the responsibility and accountability for the main thing(s) remain with the leader. As an example, take the relationship between the captain of an aircraft and the copilot. A captain can not delegate the responsibility for a safe landing of the plane. He or she can delegate the task of landing the plane under his direct supervision but getting that plane on the ground is the captain’s responsibility and it cannot be handed off.
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Management Cycle

Management Cycle

Management is about achieving objectives—be it at the enterprise, department, or individual level.  It applies to life as well as business.  It is a process—planning, organizing, acting, and controlling.  It is a continuous cycle of processing input, taking action, collecting feedback, and repeating the process.  “Nothing happens until something happens.”  When the action significantly effects the organization, its people, it processes and its customers, it requires the specialized steps of Change Management.  But management is more encompassing and requires more tools and skills than just Change Management.  Management is not the same as supervision.  Supervision may be involved in an individual's managerial role but, again, management is more encompassing.

While many modern day jobs do not involve overseeing the performance of subordinates, they do involve a high degree of individual authority and accountability pushing those jobs into the category of management.  These are jobs where the individual must “manage” relationships with customers and with internally accessible resources and specialty areas to accomplish their assigned objectives.  In order to do their job competently they must plan, organize, act, and control continuously processing input, taking action, collecting feedback, and repeating the process.  Thus management concepts apply to these jobs as much as they do to those responsible for organizational groups, units, departments, divisions, companies, or broad based enterprises.

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