Selecting, Retaining, and Developing 
Executive Leaders and Teams

August 2016

Leadership Tips
  • If you want to avoid derailing in your career, welcome, don't resist, your new boss. Ask him/her how you can help them achieve their goals during the first 90 days.
  • When hiring, in some cases it is better to fire before you hire. Sometimes the best employees are the ones you choose not to join your organization.
The 5 D's of Effective Delegation

Each time we meet, one of my executive coaching clients will emphatically complain "I don't have enough time." He faces an avalanche of emails, urgent requests, and attendance at a never ending wave of meetings.

Everyone seems to feel what is now called "time famine."

Resolving the time famine is challenging because of the simple law of physics. The principle is that a body in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force. Each of us, as a "body," stays in motion unless an outside force stops us. Unfortunately, in this case, the outside force is usually a drop in productivity, job satisfaction, being overwhelmed, or simply burn out.

My client and I discussed how he could get more time for strategic thinking, cross functional relationship building, and driving projects. After asking a few questions, I realized that he took on too much and off loaded too little. The solution was simple - delegate. So simple, yet so difficult.  I suggested the following approach to delegation.

The five D's of Effective Delegation:
  1. Delegate the Details - Even though it may take you less time to do something yourself than to tell someone how to handle the details, over the long run it pays off. Off-loading tasks to one's assistant or staff is a discipline that requires practice.
  2. Delegate Decisions - This does not mean "abdicate responsibility" but rather an opportunity for others to learn how to make decisions. By allowing others to make decisions you are complimenting them by showing your trust in their judgment. Of course, be judicious and identify those individuals who have the skill for critical thinking. Be s[ecific about the extent of their authority.
  3. Delegate "Dumping" - Delegate to your staff the job of jettisoning unnecessary tasks, projects, files, and paper that hinder, not foster, productivity. This could mean asking a staff person to purge files on a regular basis or even an IT professional to clean your hard drive.
  4. Delegate Deliverables - Clearly communicating specific expectations is critical for setting people up for success. This requires that you be clear, precise, crisp, and exact with what you want accomplished, when you want it accomplished, and the quality of the outcome.
  5. Delegate Delegation- Sounds odd, but this is most important. Being an effective executive or manager requires cascading accountability. Coach your staff to delegate to their staff. Make sure that at all levels in your organization managers are delegating to free up time for what contributes and what is important.
"If You Want It Done Right, You Don't Have to Do It Yourself - The Power of Effective Delegation"
by Donna M. Genett, Ph.D.
Though a short book, only 93 pages, it is jam packed with simple, practical, and effective delegation techniques. You will gain insights into effective delegation through the quick-to-read management allegory.

According to the author, implementing the following 6-steps you increase your job performance while alleviating stress.

Step I - Prepare beforehand.

Step 2 - Be specific. Ask the person to whom you are delegating to repeat back to you the information you shared to make sure he or she fully understands.

Step 3 - Clearly outline the time frame he or she has to complete the task.

Step 4 - Define the level of authority he or she can use with this task. The three levels of authority are: recommend, inform and initiate, take action.

Step 5 - Identify and schedule checkpoints to review progress. Spend more time at the beginning and taper off as you see the task being mastered.

Step 6 - Conduct a debriefing session to discuss what went well, what could have been improved, and what has been learned.


"Delegating More Can Increase Your Earnings"
by Thomas N. Hubbard,
Harvard Business Review, August 12, 2016

The author did a study of law partners. He found that delegating work to associates allows the median partner to earn more than 20% more than they would otherwise. Top lawyers who have the most skill to leverage, earn at least 50% more.


We all can become more effective at delegating. The most productive, successful, and satisfied leaders delegate often and effectively. By experimenting with the tips and tools above, you will experience more productivity, less stress, and a greater sense of accomplishment.

In This Issue
Solving People and Management Issues

The Heller Group focuses on coaching for senior level executives.  We facilitate change within an organization that results in more effective leadership,  increased productivity, innovative thinking, and improved employee morale and retention.

Learn more about The Heller Group, Inc. at
Dr. Bruce Heller

Dr. Bruce Heller, founder of The Heller Group, Inc., has over 20 years experience consulting with managers and executives on executive education, leadership development, and organizational.   


He is an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School. 


Dr. Heller is a consulting psychologist and member of the American Psychological Association Consulting Psychology Division. Dr. Heller holds a Ph.D. and Masters Degree in Education from the University of Southern California.  


Dr. Heller is the author of The Prodigal Executive-How to Coach Executives Too Painful to Keep, Too Valuable to Fire.  

Read the book.