Friday, August 5, 2011

Where my mom failed

My mom though she had many children, both daughters and sons, slogged in the kitchen all day long, did lot of household chores by herself. She never distributed the work amongst the children at least such of those that can easily be done by them. As a result she missed out spending her time on her favourite pastimes. Likewise I had a boss who would insist on seeing all the files never delegating to his junior or middle level officers. He was an overworked man and constantly struggling hard to keep the deadlines. The motivations though were different as in the case of mom due to her affection for her children and in the case of boss due to some mistrust and a feeling that he alone was infallible. In either case non-delegation was not a desirable trait.

Delegation is not a matter of choice. It is an obligation and a responsibility that you owe to yourself and to others who are along with you be they the family members or colleagues in the office. It is also necessary for the good of the company you work for. As the family or work place expands with lot of responsibilities, one cannot do all by himself/herself with finite hours in a day. Many people do not like to lose control. To be successful, one has to employ the strategy of delegation. This will give a sense of participation and belonging to all besides motivating people to learn more. Productivity improves in the office. Home looks cleaner and better maintained. Things happen on time and well. The leader or the mom gets more time to plan and organize themselves better and devote time and energy to more important areas that need their attention

In my home each sister thought someone would dry the clothes in the clotheline, someone would wash the dishes and someone would set the dinner table. My mom had not assigned specific jobs to each of my sisters. As a result none did. The hallmark of a good delegation is clarity of the task, assignment to specific persons, fixing the time within which to be done and keeping direct communication. This applies to home or office equally well.

Theodore Roosevelt says “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” Andrew Carnegie put it differently when he said that “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”I would say my mom would have been a happier and more relaxed person had she known what things she had to do personally and how to get the other things done by her children instead of doing them all by herself.


  1. even I think so that delegation is very important..but sometimes in families people delegated are irresponsible and i get very annoyed when work is not done, so to avoide that I also do most of the work myself:)

  2. Inspiring post KP!

    Oh! Where am I going? To delegate the chores around the house of course...

    Will be right back to comment more... In case you don't see me right back, you would know what went wrong...

    ~ NRIGirl

  3. Yes Delegation is important but most often our own insecurities make us hesitant to delegate. We feel that if we delegate then the control would go out of our hands!

  4. Agreed. Delegation is important for both the manager & executive, it helps in development if done the right way. But the essence is delegating work in the right way , to right person at right time and ensuring it is done.

  5. True, however, the people to delegate work must be good enough to it properly. Everybody need not be an expert in the given job, but at least they should learn to do the assigned job satisfactorily, when such things don't happen, then it is left to that one person to do the job of ten people. It is sad, and that person also gets the bad name, and is also labeled as suffering from OCD.
    I think mothers and leaders have not failed, but we have failed in doing our duty with sincerity.

  6. its that big problem even I have worrying about.. My hubby hardly listens.. but thats acceptable as he works so hard at the IT company, straining his eyes and brain.. but making my son understand this part is going to be a big task.. good write up

  7. Good writing.Delegation is essential.Even in Thirukkural delegation of authority is mentioned.Your interpretation and presentation is simple and beautiful,like Bernard Shaw.
    I remember reading long back in Ananda vikatan,the principal of St.joseph's college,TRY, (Rev.Fr.CK.Samy)when he was awarded best principal award,he sent the copy of award and writing to various principals of colleges.Most of the replies he received was "Thank you for awarding me the best principal"
    One women's college principal even wrote that she would not be able to collect the award and asked it to be sent by post.
    My friend who is a college principal to whom I mentioned about the incident,said we delegate clerks to answer correspondence, is the reason.!!!