You Want To Be a Good Boss? Let Others Do Your Work.

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Common Sense Helps Make a Good Boss.You want to be productive? You want to get things done? You want your school and district to run smoothly?

Do you want to change things and be forward thinking?

It’s easy (not really, but it can be done). The answer is quite simple.

Get others to do your work.

Sure that sounds bad. That’s why you don’t say it out loud. Because some people will think you’re lazy.

But that isn’t true (actually, I don’t know that for sure because I haven’t met all of you).

If you let other staff members do your work, you aren’t lazy. You are a genius (well, technically not a genius, or you probably wouldn’t have taken a job as a school administrator).

Delegation is a skill. For many people, it is something that has to be learned. But, don’t think of it as taking the easy way out.

It is quite the opposite. It’s bringing people in.

It’s how you improve your school for the sake of the students and teachers. And you can accomplish this more quickly when you have help.

As the leader of your school, you have one primary job. Leave it better than you found it.

Progress isn’t easy. If it was, everybody would do it. Progress is slow and painful, but worthwhile.

To make productive changes, you are going to need help. And lots of it.

Smart leaders surround themselves with good people and then get out of their way.

Running a school, or any business, is an impossible task for an individual. It is a huge, but manageable task, when a group of people tackle it together.

If you want your employees to get on “the bus” and head in the same direction as you, give them some ownership.

This can’t be done if all the ideas are yours.

Some of the best ideas for change come from secretaries, janitors, bus drivers, cooks, parents, and yes… even students.

If it makes the school better, who cares who thought of it?

Listen to everyone’s thoughts. Ignore the bad ones and steal the good ones.

And then share the work. But not the credit.

Always give the credit to others. Time spent patting yourself on the back could be better spent focusing on the next big challenge (and trust me, there is one right around the corner).

People involved with schools and kids have already proven they want to help.

Let them.

The idea for this blog came after reading Jim Burgett’s thoughts on leadership (

• Leaders who don’t delegate burn out or lose effectiveness.

• An “It’s easier to do it myself” attitude by leaders results in apathy, not excitement by employees.

• Successful delegation promotes pride, ownership, and a sense of being needed by employees.

• Successful delegation encourages employees to be creative and innovative.

• Successful delegation includes good manners and appreciation.

• Successful delegation includes recognizing successes.

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11 Responses to “You Want To Be a Good Boss? Let Others Do Your Work.”

  1. Tim
    on Feb 21st, 2009
    @ 8:40 pm

    Great post, now I just need to find a principal gig!

  2. Doug Johnson
    on Feb 22nd, 2009
    @ 4:37 am


    I have applied this theory to stress as well as work. My theory is that if you can’t pass it on to someone else, you are stuck with it.

    Enjoy your posts immensely!


  3. Charlie A. Roy
    on Feb 22nd, 2009
    @ 10:36 am

    I’ve heard a wise former principal once say there job was to give their problems to other people to fix and not let others bring their problems to him to fix. Very interesting. In a good way. Be well.

  4. Pat
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 8:42 am

    Great points here! I am such a control freak that it is really hard for me to give up control and trust that other people will do their part. I tend to agonize over the whole process until sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t have been easier to do it myself. Then I realize it is not just the result that is important but the process and the collaboration to arrive at the result may be equally important. By the way, this summer I will be supervising a practicum which I was told by the university involves “being like a principal” so I may come crying on your shoulder. I will be supervising a number of teachers, checking lesson plans, observing and evaluating. Talk about giving up control and trusting them to do their job! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

  5. Jim
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 6:21 pm

    In any organization the leader needs to share responsibility in order to gain the support and confidence of the members of the team. Team members that feel needed and included have ownership and work to help any program be successful. Now I just need to get that leadership position and put this to the test. Great Blog!

  6. Dave Sherman
    on Feb 23rd, 2009
    @ 8:26 pm

    There is a great book that reinforces your point quite well. It is called The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey. This book does a great job helping people learn to delegate to others.

  7. Angie
    on Feb 25th, 2009
    @ 2:44 pm

    One of my mentors once told me to not allow people to come to you with problems if they couldn’t also come with solutions. They then start relying on you to fix everything instead of solving it themselves. To me this is the ultimate goal of leadership- to help people get to the point where they don’t need you anymore.

  8. Dane
    on Feb 25th, 2009
    @ 9:13 pm

    Great post. It can be easy at times to micromanage, but by doing this you can easily become bogged down in minor things. “At times, you cannot see the forest for the trees”. An interesting way to measure ourselves is by the number of leaders that come up from within the schools that we work.

  9. People Want a Boss. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Mar 27th, 2009
    @ 4:01 pm

    [...] Surround yourself with good people. Don’t feel threatened if you aren’t the smartest person in the room. [...]

  10. Parents Hate Principals. | PrincipalsPage The Blog
    on Oct 4th, 2009
    @ 10:30 am

    [...] Honestly, couldn’t a secretary just run things? [...]

  11. Scott Sexton
    on Apr 24th, 2014
    @ 11:28 am

    I was searching for some good words to help others with delegation and found this post. I’ll be sending many people here to read this.


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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.