Delegation & Supervision: A book review by Bob Morris

DelegationDelegation & Supervision
Brian Tracy
AMACOM (2013)

Absolutely essential core competencies for those who aspire to become great supervisors

This is the latest volume added to The Brian Tracy Success Library. The others are Motivation and Negotiation, also published by AMACOM. Previously, Tracy has written one or more books on each of these and other major business subjects. What he has now done with consummate skill is to condense the most valuable information, insights, and counsel about each subject within a 100-page volume, in this instance the most valuable lessons he has learned about delegation and supervision.

Tracy makes a promise in the Introduction that he certainly keeps: “This book will help you become excellent at delegating and greatly multiply your ability to make significant contributions to your organization. You are going to learn a series of key ideas that you can use to become far more effective as a delegator. Each of these methods, techniques, and strategies are time-tested and proven over the years, and guaranteed to work.” Of course, the nature and extent of this book’s value will ultimately be determined by the nature and extent of how well you apply what you have learned.

These are among the dozens of business subjects of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Tracy’s coverage.

o Five Myths That Block Delegation (Pages 6-9)
o Qualities of a Key Results Area (21)
o Five Keys to Motivation (31)
o Three Qualities of the Best Bosses (37-42)
o Seven Keys to Effective Delegation (43-48)
o The Problem-Solving Process (62-63)
o Five Everyday Motivators (74-76)
o Four Personality Types (86-87)
o Three Leadership Types (89-92)
o Five Keys to Managerial Effectiveness (98-99)

Brian Tracy’s perspectives on delegation and supervision remind me, again, of my favorite passage in Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

More recently, Tim Brown (CEO and president of IDEO) observed, “We believe the collective intelligence, experience, and creativity of the group is greater than that of any individual.” All great leaders have a “green thumb” for “growing” others to become great leaders. That is why all great organizations such as IDEO are those at which great delegation and supervision can be found at all levels and in all areas…every day.

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