You get a phone call or an email from your client or your boss. “I have a great idea for our campaign,” they say. Sometimes you might get a layout or you might get a call for a new brainstorming campaign even though you are already in progress. “It’s not the client’s job to plan the campaign,” you might mutter to yourself. The client’s job, so agency folk believe, is to critique what the agency has created. Sometimes, however, the client or the boss is so desirous of having their stamp on the project that they can’t relinquish control over the process.
As a marketer, you commonly recognize problems caused by a lack of delegation. Whether you are an agency person working with a client contact who does not delegate well or whether you are on a marketing team with a leader that does not delegate well, the inability of key personnel to share responsibilities can create a myriad of problems. Among those problems are:
– A bottleneck of information where the team is not getting all (or any) of the information they need.
– Needless repetition of work. If the leader of a team is working on a project in parallel with the rest of the people involved, someone’s time is being wasted. This creates bad feelings across the board.
– A clear display that communication is broken. If, for example, a client has not provided the agency with all pertinent information, the agency may present something that falls short of what the full client team was expecting. The agency is then left with the distasteful proposition of either receiving criticism on work that lacked proper input from the client or throwing a contact “under the bus.”
These are obvious effects of a lack of delegating on the part of key personnel, but there can be more subtle ramifications as well. If you do not delegate well, the people you are working with will feel you do not trust them to do the job. People may lose interest if they feel they are not fully woven into the marketing team, whether within a company or at an agency.
Why do we have trouble delegating?
Many reasons. As marketers, as we have discussed so many times, our plates are always full. Perhaps we don’t delegate because of the old rationale, “By the time I explain it, I could have it done already.” Maybe the pressure to get everything right makes us feel like we had better just run with a project. We know the most about it. What if someone else misses something accidentally? These may even be completely logical responses to our work environments. But they can damage our positions in the long run.
The double-edged sword of being a marketer
When you are a marketer, you need to be organized, on top of things, and ahead of the game at all times. This can shine the light on facets of your personality that might also make you inclined to avoid delegation. It’s a fine line. Leading a project is not the same as controlling it. Planning a campaign is not the same as brainstorming with a group. It is a fine line we must dance to make sure work gets done in the most effective, efficient way possible. Straying too far to one side or the other can, as we have illustrated, cause a lot of heartache down the road.
Do you delegate or do you find that you cling to all responsibilities with white-knuckled hands? We’d love to hear from you!
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