(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


To delegate a task is to ask someone to do of a piece of work while to delegate authority is to ask someone to take on a responsibility. The former is one time, the latter is on-going.

If you delegate the tasks of answering customers’ questions and sending out satisfaction surveys, some results will occur. But a much bigger result can happen when you delegate the authority to handle customer service.

Giving a task says “follow me”. Giving authority says “take it, run with it, and make it your own.”

Delegating authority can be difficult, but doing so will create more room for you than simply delegating tasks.

(This distinction was created by Isabel Parlett, coach.)


Copyright 1997 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.