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The Challenge For Busy Life Science Managers : Effective Delegation

September 06, 2016

by admin


Sadly, individual brilliance is not enough to make it as a manager or leader. To lead a team, you need to be able to delegate with distinction, by allocating tasks to those people in your team who have the skills, time, capability and resources to fulfil them.

Unfortunately, this delegation process all too often proves a stumbling block for many life science managers who have previously excelled in their field as individuals and are now struggling to hand responsibility over to the members of their team.



Delegation is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength, proving your capability as a manager not only to your team, but to senior managers with the organisation. By delegating well, you’ll soon find that you increase performance and productivity, goodwill within your team, and command greater respect as a manager. Even better, it will free you up to fully concentrate your own higher-value tasks.

So for those of your struggling to delegate effectively, it’s time to ask yourself a question.

Do you genuinely believe you’re personally capable of handling the work of every member of your team?

No? Well it’s time to learn to delegate efficiently.

Here’s how.

1. Acknowledge your resistance triggers to delegating tasks.

Some common ones are:

-Do you think you can do it better?
-Do you fear someone else will do it better?
-Do you think it will be quicker if you do it yourself?
-Do you lack trust that someone else can do it properly?

2. Once you have ascertained why you resist delegating, it’s time to take action on resolving those triggers.

It might be accepting that you can’t do it all, mastering the fear that others will outshine you, prioritising your own time over other people’s tasks, or training others sufficiently so that you can trust they will perform it well. Some of these steps aren’t initially easy or quick, however in the long term they are well worth it. Accept that initial time allocation for the long term good.



3. Be careful to pick the right people to delegate to, and then provide the right support and tools for them to succeed.

Often fledgling delegators will ‘over-trust’ that all will go well, and will distance themselves to show that they trust the team. This can often end badly, partly because the wrong person was chosen for the task, or they weren’t sufficiently trained or supported. Choose well, train well, and remain available.


4. Once you have handed over the reins of important projects to the right people, it’s important to resist the urge to micro-manage (while still remaining available).

To do this comfortably, you will want to set goals, deadlines and responsibilities out very clearly, as well as create a clear reporting schedule so that you don’t constantly worry that things are slipping or being done incorrectly. You may choose to have verbal or written reports on a daily, weekly or bi-monthly basis- but do remember not to make the reporting schedule so onerous that it gets in the way of productivity.


5. Be upfront with your team about the changes you’re making.

It will be no secret to your team that you struggle to delegate, so you should expect a positive response if you call a meeting to tell them that you’re going to be delegating a lot more in future and are working on some changes.



This is also a good opportunity to find out what skills the individual team members feel they need in order to be able to perform the at the required high level, and you can then utilise this information to develop a great training program. This meeting should get everyone on side and fully supporting this new management style as it develops.

Learning delegation is the biggest productivity hack of them all, so you’re putting yourself at a marked disadvantage if you don’t learn to do it well. A life science manager normally has a team of very bright and highly-skilled people working under them, so it’s your responsibility to allow them to reach their potential. By allowing them to shine as team members, the end result is that you shine as a manager: a different type of brilliance to add to your repertoire.


About Talentmark

Talentmark was established over 45 years ago. It was one of the first search and recruitment organisations of its kind to recognise the unique needs of the life science and pharmaceutical sector.

Run by medical and recruitment specialists, Talentmark not only provides executive search and recruitment solutions globally, but also a range of bespoke consultancy services delivered by some of the industry’s leading thinkers. To find out more visit our website at or call
+44(0)345 095 2626.

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