When You’re Out, Is Your Team Able to Function Without You?
The best leaders train and empower their team so others can step up and move projects ahead without hesitation in the leader’s absence. Here is a case study that can help leaders and managers think through the preparation, training and delegation necessary to be away from the office, using a very realistic scenario.
Explain that the participants are going to explore a case study in order to help them review the skills needed to plan for delegation. First, though, split the class into two groups (or let them self-select a group): Delegators and Delegatees.
Either aloud or individually, have everyone read the Case Study (see below). After everyone has read the Case Study, lead a discussion among the Delegator group on the following questions:
• What portions of the General Manager’s responsibilities can he delegate, and what portions should he “shelve” until his return?
• What skills are necessary to perform the delegated tasks?
• Among the General Manager’s staff, who might be a candidate for delegation? Why?
• What kind of support will the General Manager need to provide?
Now, ask members of the Delegatee group to imagine they are the Dining Room Manager. Then lead a discussion on the following questions:
• What portions of the General Manager’s responsibilities can he delegate to you, and what portions should he “shelve” until his return?
• What skills will you need to be able to perform those tasks?
• What would you gain from accepting these delegated tasks?
• What demands will be placed on you?
• What kind of support will you need from the General Manager? From other staff members?
Bring the whole group back together and ask:
• What did this case study bring to light for you?
• How will you plan and delegate differently the next time you will be traveling for work or on vacation?
• Would your employees know what to do if you were unexpectedly out sick tomorrow?
• How can you communicate ‘who is empowered to do what’ in your absence?
In a medium-sized restaurant specializing in high-end seafood cuisine, the General Manager is responsible for all marketing, advertising, inventory, hiring, training, budget management and controls, reservation and private party booking, and security, among a variety of additional day-to-day tasks such as discipline, crisis management, and maintenance. Inventory and budget reports are due monthly, and the other responsibilities are ongoing, and constant. Working for the General Manager are:
• A Chef
• A Sous Chef (Assistant Chef)
• 12 cooks and prep-cooks
• A Dining Room Manager
• A Bar Manager
• A 25-member service staff that includes hosts, servers, bussing help and bartenders.
The Dining Room Manager has several years of experience, but has only been with the restaurant for three months. A new bartender has also just come onboard. She was a Bar Manager in her former job, but since there wasn’t currently a manager position available here, she accepted a bartender position. The Chef is creative, hard working, and an excellent cook, but inexperienced as a manager, and has recently lost two frustrated employees.
The General Manager has just received 2 calls: the first from a VIP client requesting that the restaurant host a private party for his company, with 250 guests and a budget of $20,000, to be held four days from now. The second call informed the General Manager of a serious illness in the family, and he will need to leave immediately for at least a week.
Excerpted from the Leader’s Guide to the CRM Learning training program Delegating for Diehards.
Training Resource: Everest. See how a blind man’s quest to reach the summit was only possible through leadership and teamwork. When the climb leader had to drop out halfway up due to illness, you’ll learn how the other members of the team stepped up and made the climb a success.