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The 30X Rule for Delegation

Delegation is one of the greatest skills a manager has because it not only frees up the manager's time, but it develops the employee. The challenge for many managers is the fact that it takes time to delegate something and the end product may not be as done as well, at least the first time. Rory Vaden reframes the issue as multiplying time. While he introduces many interesting concepts, there are 2 that I want to focus on: the 30X rule and the permission rule.

The 30X rule is simple, what ever amount of time you would spend completing a project, expect to spend 30 times that amount in delegating it (preparing to delegate, setting expectations, answering questions, providing feedback, etc.). The first time I read that my eyes popped out of my head.

I think that may be a bit much, but the reasoning is strong. There is so much that goes into delegating that you need to be prepared to spend some time. Spend time before delegating figuring out who is best suited for the task and preparing the task to be handed over. Then in providing feedback, coaching, and answering questions. The 30X won't be all at once, but it will add up in minutes over the time needed to really transfer the project to the employee.

The permission rule is more simple, but emotionally harder. The permission rule says that you need to give yourself permission for a little less perfection in order to multiply that time down the road. This is in line with my idea that no one does something perfectly the first time, so give yourself permission to not have a perfect deliverable. It will get there - provided you coach and give feedback well - but it may take a little time. Once you've done that, you will have opened up a whole bunch of time to work on other things.

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