Responsibility delegation does not always have to be up to you

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Responsibility delegation does not always have to be up to you

You may hear people saying that trading is just about you, your trading strategy, your orders, and your money. For the most part, they would be right, especially when it comes to the money, but there is a way to entrust the trading itself to someone else, both in the form of your or another trading strategy.

What is this exactly and why should you (not) do it?

Your strategy, someone else’s orders

Let’s say you are in a situation in which you have a good trading strategy, but you are not doing so well in real trading. You manage to find that the problem is in your psyche and in a non-compliance of your trading strategies. Of course, you should work on these issues, but there is a possibility to automate the trade in the form of an AOS – automatic trading system.

If you have a strategy based on technical analysis, AOS is a great solution for you. The well-known MetaTrader has a feature for creating AOS that is able to trade for you according to your parameters.

If it is too difficult for you to automate the strategy, you can pay someone more experienced to prepare the AOS for you. Then you just apply your strategy and the trades will be realized on their own.

The other option is a broker who would be willing to trade with your trading strategy for you. There are not many of them these days, and in many cases the broker would work with the same automation, meaning he would accept your strategy, then let it be rewritten into an automatic strategy and then would release it. Thus, there is no person who would actually trade your strategy, as everything is done by a computer. If your trading strategy is specific and cannot be automated, you would have to convince the broker with an interesting volume of deals.

If you have a purely technical strategy, you can try to automate it by yourself, possibly with the help of more experienced brokers or “programmers.” It is also suitable for experienced traders who have no problem with their emotions. It is necessary to mention that the result may not always be the realization of the trade, but perhaps just a warning in a form of a pop-up window “On XY a signal according to the trading strategy was created .” Consequently, it is up to you whether you use this information or not.

Copying trading orders

This is how copy trading with eToro looks like

You have certainly encountered brokers with the ability to copy trading orders. These brokers include eToro, Purple Trading, and several others. These brokers offer you the possibility of social trading, in other words, trading based on someone else’s trading strategy. Theoretically, this is basically copying of trading orders of an automated trading system. Actually, it’s quite common.

We have now gotten away from trading to speculations and investments. In this case, we might get into a minor collision with the terminology. Even in trading, you will encounter terms such as speculation or investment (investment is in long-term trading), but what we have in mind now is an investment of general importance, in which you are actually investing money in a project and speculating on its valorization.

In this case, you do not have the result firmly in your hands, as you are forced to rely on someone else’s orders and actually speculate on the basis of the results of others. This has not much in common with trading alone, but again it depends on how you look at it. Here, too, you can filter out good traders and let their trades be pointed out. If they match your idea, then you can trade manually, if you choose to do so. In this manner, social trading can serve as a kind of filter for your trading.

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Personally, I do not damn copying trading orders, automated trading systems (AOS) or other types of automatic investments, as they always depend on many circumstances. As I like to say, not only trading but also life is all about common sense. And if the given situation makes sense to you and fits into your trading plan (investment, security, diversification…), use it. Social trading and copying trading orders is not a fraud, but it is no longer trading in its original sense. Even so, we must take this method seriously and consider it another investment option.

Author

More about the author J. Pro

Unlike Stephen (the other author) I have been thinking mainly about online business lately. I wasn’t very successfull with dropshipping on Amazon and other ways of making money online, and I’d only earn a few hundreds of dollars in years. But then binary options caught my attention with it’s simplicity. Now I’m glad it did because it really is worth it. More posts by this author

7 Delegation Mistakes That Can Kill Effective Teamwork

You can’t be a good manager if you can’t delegate.

For a period of time, you may be able to complete all the tasks required of you. But that will not last. Your career growth will stagnate. You will get tired of your tasks. You will become overwhelmed and exhausted, struggling to keep your head above the water.

Soon you will be playing catch up almost every day.

We interviewed one of our clients, Niraj Ranjan Rout (Founder at Hiver), to discuss 7 delegation mistakes that are killing your effective teamwork.

Realize that your business is not a one man show

You may think it is a waste of time to delegate because you feel you can do a better job. But no matter how good you are, you will need your team’s help to get things done effectively on a consistent basis.

  • The quality of work will suffer
  • Your team’s morale will suffer, which could lead to trust deficits, fear, and insecurity
  • It could hamper the development of your team members

Now let us look at 7 delegation mistakes that are gradually killing your effective teamwork and rendering it useless.

Mistake #1: Not able to differentiate between delegating and training

These two concepts are often mixed up by managers. To be clear, training is aimed at improving the employee’s performance or help them attain a required level of knowledge or skill. Whereas, delegation is aimed at reducing the workload of managers so they can focus on important tasks and allow the subordinates to grow in the process.

If a manager delegates a task to a subordinate, the subordinate is expected to complete the task on their own. The manager shouldn’t get involved unless required. Micromanaging the situation will make it look more like training than delegation. By micromanaging, you are essentially defeating the purpose of delegating. It can have adverse effects like low morale, self-doubt, trust deficit, and productivity slumps.

The key here is to trust the employee to perform the task on their own. They may require some guidance in the beginning, but don’t be an overbearing presence.

Want to learn how to use delegation to boost your productivity and improve your relationships with your employees? Download our guide How to Use Delegation to Become a More Impactful Leader.

Mistake #2: Providing Vague Instructions

Clear communication is fundamental to effective delegation. If you don’t let the team member know ‘what is expected of them’ in clear and precise terms, the outcome may fall short of the ideal.

This is why when you are delegating a task, you should clearly mention the following:

  • The outcome expected in clear and measurable terms
  • The time it will take for the task to be completed
  • The maximum amount of resources that can be allotted
  • The tools to be used
  • The names and ranks of all the parties involved
  • When and how reporting should be delivered

There shouldn’t be any room for misunderstanding or vagueness.

For instance, if you want to delegate a task like making a report of all the complaints received with respect to a particular feature, the message should appear like this:

Make a 500 word report on customer complaints with regards to the email notes feature, and send it to me via email by 3:30 pm.

The deliverables and other conditions (if any) should be explained precisely and clearly. This will help ensure the end result is closer to what was expected.

Mistake #3: Picking the wrong person

If you delegate a task to someone who is not suited or capable of doing it, the results may be far from ideal. Additionally, it may lead to squabbles, dissent, and lack of respect among your subordinates. As they say in sports, you may end up losing “the dressing room,” and that doesn’t bode well for a leader.

The key here is to gain an in-depth knowledge of your team. Their strengths, skills, weaknesses, and areas of expertise should be known to you. This will help ensure that you pick the right person for the job. For example, if a person has superior math skills, you could delegate statistics-related tasks to them.

Mistake #4: Delegating a task, and then not monitoring it

Delegating a task doesn’t mean that it isn’t your responsibility anymore. Although you may have explained the task in great detail, it doesn’t guarantee the task will be completed as per your expectations.

You have to keep monitoring the progress and ask for regular updates. This helps ensure he/she is on the right track. And, you can also step in early if there are any errors or mistakes. Nipping it in the bud avoids wastage of time, energy, and resources.

That said, you should always try to strike a balance between monitoring and supporting. You need to give people enough freedom to use their abilities to the best effect.

This is where collaboration tools and timekeeping tools really come in handy. They make it easier to monitor the progress without being nosy or micromanaging the situation.

Mistake #5: Expecting Perfection

Perfectionism is a major hindrance to getting things done. If you are driven by perfectionism, you will struggle when it comes to delegating tasks.

Your obsession with being perfect can lead to constant meddling and micromanaging. You will never be satisfied with their work, the result will be – endless meetings and revisions. This will eventually drive your subordinates crazy. I f someone can complete a task at 80-90%, then let them complete it.

Your focus should be progress rather than perfection. This will help you save time, and focus on more important things.

Mistake #6: Not sharing the rewards and credit

When you are delegating tasks, you aren’t just sharing the responsibility. Your teammates should get a fair share of the rewards and the credit, too. In other words, d on’t hoard the good words or the recognition. Instead, spread the love.

If your top management is happy with the work, let your subordinates know about it. Not only does it keep the motivation levels up, but it will help the subordinates develop and grow.

Always remember to explicitly mention the names of employees who worked along with you on a task or project. They will be more eager to take up delegated tasks next time around.

Mistake #7: Not knowing what to delegate

This happens with a lot of managers regularly. It is due to the fact that they are not able to read the situation clearly, this cannot decide what tasks to delegate.

Here’s a checklist to help you decide what can be delegated:

  • A low priority task, which is something that doesn’t come under your core focus area
  • Less important tasks that eat away at your time and/or energy
  • Laying the groundwork such as collecting resources, prospect research, data entry, etc
  • Tasks that you are not good at doing
  • A task that your teammates can do better
  • Something that you want your team to learn

Here is an infographic developed by Prialto, one of the top virtual assistant services for executives, to help you decide what to delegate.

CONCLUSION

Everyone knows that delegation without authority is not effective, yet many of us repeat the same mistake often. This effects your teammates by creating doubt in your abilities to manage them effectively, which renders the whole delegation process useless.

The best way to get rid of this doubt is by empowering your teammates through:

  • Sharing the authority and rewards along with the responsibility
  • Clearly communicating what is expected of them
  • Supplying them with the tools, information, and resources they need to perform

Always remember that a high-performing team is infinitely more productive than a high-performing individual!

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Why Aren’t You Delegating?

You have way too much to do, you’re buried in work, and it seems there’s no way out from under it all. But there is: delegation. Yes, yes, you know it’s important to do and you know it will save you time and help others develop new skills. So why aren’t you doing it?

What the Experts Say
Delegation is a critical skill. “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and author of What Were They Thinking?: Unconventional Wisdom About Management. Delegation benefits managers, direct reports, and organizations. Yet it remains one of the most underutilized and underdeveloped management capabilities. A 2007 study on time management found that close to half of the 332 companies surveyed were concerned about their employees’ delegation skills. At the same time, only 28% of those companies offered any training on the topic. “Most people will tell you they are too busy to delegate — that it’s more efficient for them to just do it themselves,” says Carol Walker, the president of Prepared to Lead, a consulting firm that focuses on developing young leaders. But both Walker and Pfeffer agree that it’s time to drop the excuses. Here’s how.

Watch for warning signs
You may not realize that you’re unnecessarily hoarding work. There are warning signs, however. “A classic sign of insufficient delegation is that you are working long hours and feel totally indispensable, while your staff isn’t terribly energized and keeps strangely regular hours,” says Walker. You may also feel that your team doesn’t take ownership over projects and that you’re the only one that cares. If they use phrases like, “I’m happy to help you with this,” it may be an indication that you’re doling out tasks, not handing over responsibility.

Understand why you’re not delegating
There are plenty of reasons why managers don’t delegate. Some are perfectionists who feel it’s easier to do everything themselves, or that their work is better than others’. Pfeffer calls this “self-enhancement bias.” Some believe that passing on work will detract from their own importance, while others lack self-confidence and don’t want to be upstaged by their subordinates. No matter how self-aware you are, don’t assume that you’re immune to these biases, Pfeffer advises. Instead, you need to proactively ask yourself what you’re going to do to counterbalance them. Walker notes that letting go of these misconceptions can be extremely difficult and often organizational culture doesn’t help. “Giving up being ‘the go-to expert’ takes tremendous confidence and perspective even in the healthiest environments,” she says. “It’s even more challenging in the average company, where being a good manager is seen as a ‘nice to have,’ but where producing the core deliverable is what is truly esteemed.” But accepting that you can’t do everything yourself is a critical first step to delegating.

Measure how you’re doing
Once you’ve recognized what’s standing in your way, the next logical step is to adjust your behavior. In reality, however, very few people know what to change or how to change it. “If you asked most managers how they spent their day, they are not going to be able to recall it accurately,” says Pfeffer. He advises keeping a daily diary of how you spend your time. After a week, you’ll start to see patterns. “You’re likely to find that a lot of time is spent on low-leverage activities that can be delegated,” says Pfeffer.

Choose the right people
Some managers fear delegation because they’ve been burned in the past. It’s important that you pass on work to people who have the necessary skills and are motivated to get the job done right. Ideally, you should be able to delegate some form of work to everyone on your team. If you push work as far down the hierarchy as possible, you will free up time and help all your staff members grow.

Integrate delegation into what you already do
Delegation shouldn’t be yet another task. Make it part of your process for creating staff development plans. Discuss which types of projects and tasks you will pass on to them so that they can build the skills they need. “Make sure it’s written down as part of their performance goals and discuss how you will be mutually accountable for making it happen,” says Walker. Then create a cheat sheet that lists each person’s development plan and put it somewhere visible. “This should help to spur your thinking about opportunities to delegate as they arise normally in your work. And the assignment will be welcomed because the employee understands clearly how it fits into the development plan,” says Walker.

Ask others to hold you accountable
Give your direct reports permission to call you out when you haven’t delegated something you should. Remember that it’s never easy to give your boss feedback, so be crystal clear that you are open to and expect this kind of input. Also, let them know that they’re responsible for their own growth and if they see a project they want to take on, they should ask for it.

Really let go
After you delegate, your job as a manager is to observe and support your direct reports, not dictate what they do. “It’s not about making the decisions for them. Develop their critical thinking skills so they become better at intervening in their own situations,” Pfeffer says. Give your employees space. “If you want people to learn, you have to permit them to make mistakes and figure out how to correct them,” says Pfeffer. Micromanaging defeats the whole purpose. Be careful though. It’s possible to be too hands off. “While you don’t want to tell people how to do the job, you must be in a position to evaluate their performance and development,” says Walker. Don’t walk away from a task you’ve delegated. Stay involved but let your employee lead the way.

Learn from experience
Once you’ve started delegating more, pay attention to the results, and learn from your mistakes. Ask yourself how you can tweak your approach. Can you delegate more involved tasks? Should you give your direct reports more freedom? Do you need to monitor progress more closely? Be patient with yourself while you practice. “You’re going from an ‘I’m going to do everything because I know better than everyone’ mindset to ‘I’m going to let people learn’ mindset,” says Pfeffer. It may take time, but the payoff is great.

Principles to Remember
Do:

  • Take note if you’re overwhelmed and your team members don’t seem to have enough to do — it’s a warning sign
  • Keep a visual reminder of your team’s development goals so you can easily identify opportunities to delegate
  • Ask your direct reports to call you out when you haven’t delegated enough
  • Assume that you aren’t biased about other people’s performance
  • Give someone else responsibility for something and then micromanage the task to death
  • Be impatient — practice and learn from your mistakes

Case Study #1: Hire people you can delegate to
Chloe Drew wasn’t always good at delegation. Having worked on political campaigns where resources were hard to come by, her instinct was always to do everything herself. But now, as the executive director of a growing non-profit organization, she’s come to appreciate how much she must rely on others to get work done. “I can’t be integral to everything we do. I need to be replaceable,” she says.

When hiring, Chloe specifically looks for people who are ready to take ownership from their first day on the job. “I’m trying to create a team of mini-entrepreneurs,” she says. Chloe recently asked a new hire, who has deep experience with learning and development programs in financial services, to run her organization’s leadership institute. “She’s responsible for building it as if it were a separate business,” Chloe explains. “I still want to be in the loop because I have to answer to the board on the project, but I trust her to run with it.” Although delegation didn’t come to Chloe naturally, she has learned to let go. “It’s better for the health of the organization if I don’t swoop in and try to prevent mistakes,” she says. That’s the only way she can get what she needs from her team members, including her newest employee. “I hired her for her skills and expertise. And that increases my chances of delegating with ease,” she explains.

Case Study #2: Make it a win-win-win
Russell Sy, a managing director at a company that develops and manages business parks in the United Arab Emirates, learned how to delegate effectively from watching others. “I am fortunate to have a top-notch direct supervisor,” he says. “Constantly observing her delegate, motivate, and manage for results has taught me a lot.” But, like most managers, Russell has had both positive and negative experiences with delegation.

In a previous role, he was assigned to lead a newly formed division. The CEO had combined five separate functions and asked Russell to ensure the integration went smoothly and saved the company money. Right off, he met with the five department heads to brainstorm how they would meet the CEO’s mandate. He delegated several projects to each leader. Within a few weeks, he saw that one of the departments was falling behind and quickly assessed that the department head was the obstacle. The leader was unhappy with the integration and thought it diminished his power so he refused to cooperate. Eventually, Russell had to replace him. “I learned from this failure that it is important to delegate to someone who is genuinely on board,” he says.

Now Russell looks for delegation opportunities that will benefit him, the direct report, and the organization. For example, when his company’s parent group recently asked for a review of the business, he asked a new hire to prepare the information packet because he felt it was a great way to orient the employee. Also, “having a fresh pair of eyes look at our business uncovered a few blind spots,” he says. Russell realizes trusting a newcomer with such an important task was perhaps a gamble. But he felt the risk could be mitigated by “instructions, open lines of communication for questions and comments, and regular checkpoints.”

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