As I rose through the procurement ranks during my career, one of the most difficult things to learn to do was to delegate effectively. I was always a very detail-oriented worker. Having someone else handle the details of an important project made me uncomfortable.

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From what I’ve seen, many procurement managers – especially new ones – feel exactly the same discomfort and reluctance. And a recent article in Kelly Services’ Smartmanager newsletter hits the nail on the head when it comes to capturing the reasons for this reluctance, saying that new managers worry that their “performance and career will now be judged, not only on [their] individual performance, but the success of the [teams they] manage” and that no one can do a task as well as they do.

Unsettling feelings, indeed.

Fortunately, I’ve learned to delegate fairly well over the years. The rapid growth of Next Level Purchasing has forced me to. And though I never thought of how I gradually became more and more comfortable with delegation, Kelly Services does a great job of capturing five different “levels of delegation” that show a progression towards expert delegation:

  1. Please Just Do What I Ask
  2. Research It and Then I’ll Decide
  3. Research It and We’ll Discuss It and I’ll Make a Decision
  4. Research It, Evaluate It, and Suggest Action – Then I’ll Decide
  5. Research It, Evaluate It, Suggest Action, and Then You Decide (Be Sure to Tell Me First)

Of course, it helps when you have a highly competent team that you have tons of faith in. But this article is definitely a good read for those who want to become better leaders.

Speaking of leading a highly competent team, I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that our whitepaper, “The Purchasing Leader’s Guide To A More Successful Team,” is still available. Click here to download your copy.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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