Easing the Burden at Work
by Danny Tariman
Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. (Exodus 18:21-22)
Do you know that the concept of management was practiced as early in the days of Moses? The art or science of delegation was not introduced in modern-day management theories. It was used thousands of years ago.
When I was new to management position, I had the tendency to do it all. I thought I should do it so that I will get what I want. Initially it was ok! I felt good after accomplishing a single task.
But things changed when more tasks came in, and my responsibilities were rising. I can no longer do ALL things on my own.
And so I started assigning some tasks to my staff. They would take the task but when things do not go well, or when it turns out not as I expected, I take back the task and then do it myself.
And eventually everything is on my lap again!
Three things I learned from this Biblical principle whom to delegate: able, God-fearing and trustworthy men (v21).
It is very important that you have as your staff, people who are God-fearing. This one is a non-negotiable quality. This is why during the hiring process, you should be able to know this trait.
Since trustworthiness is IN the person’s character, and I believe that the fact you have him as your staff, you trust him enough. Therefore, I will not dwell much on this.
Being “able” on the other hand is something that you can develop in a person. When we get someone to work for us, we don’t usually get a perfect match to our requirements. “A round peg to a square hole”, or “square peg to a round hole” so to speak. There is almost always a need to train to enABLE a person.
One thing I learned when I delegate: do not be tempted to take back an unfinished task from your staff. Instead, train him, coach him, and empower him so that eventually he becomes the ‘able’ person that you want him to be.
Expect that there will be some missed deadlines. Expect that there will be some errors. There will be some things that will turn out not as you expected. That’s fine. These will show you the areas where you need to train him, and coach him.
And soon, only big and important matters will be brought to you, while they do the small matters. It will then be easier for you (v22).
God bless you!