Matoke-Delegation-1024x640 What do you monitor?

I really like matoke, a staple foodstuff in Uganda. It’s made by steaming and compressing cooking bananas in nearly every home everyday. Families monitor stocks of these bananas visually and easily, to make sure you have enough and never run out.

Last month with my colleague Duncan Mutembani we delivered our flagship programme “Growing Your Leadership Edge” for the third time. As usual we had a lively debate about delegation, asking participants to share their thoughts about what is present when delegation is at its best.

As with the other cohorts, we found monitoring to be a key and necessary part of effective delegation. It’s essential to ensure the results desired are attained, not just commenced.

You can imagine there are many things which can be monitored:

  • Progress on delivery of the task
  • The performance of the members of staff
  • The quality of your relationship with them
  • Satisfaction of stakeholders
  • Bespoke indicators relevant to your goal or sector.

I’m curious, in your role as a leader, what do you find the most important factor to monitor with your team? What really makes a difference to outcomes? How easy do you find it to do?

I’m wondering if there is a gap between what we know and understand intellectually, and the action we take. The bottom line is, I have a hunch that for many of us it doesn’t really feel OK to monitor. We are concerned it gives a negative message to our staff, indicating a lack of trust.

We would rather let someone fail, and have a bigger problem to solve, than talk out loud and agree what we need to monitor from the start.

It can be easier to keep things unsaid.

Surprisingly though, regular monitoring can make delegation a more comfortable and more successful process for both parties.

The most important thing is to agree right from the beginning how you will monitor delivery and what you can expect from each other. It can feel a little strange to talk this way at first, but then it becomes your new normal.

It can become your experience too that creating monitoring agreements builds, rather than erodes, trust with your team.

Being explicit about how you will work together allows you and your team to feel good, stay on the front foot, be proactive and achieve results over time.

The skills needed in effective early conversations are ones that can be learnt.

It’s worth it!

I have seen monitoring as a key part of delegation produce  winning bids, increase customer satisfaction, deliver exceptional service, allow early adjustment, enable team working, develop your staff and more.

There are many benefits from doing this well.

Using levels of cooking bananas kept at home as our metaphor, what’s your shortcut to remembering what to monitor in your role? How can monitoring be as visual and easy to check with your team, allowing you to delegate and them to succeed really well?

Ugandan-food-1024x640 What do you monitor?

Traditional Ugandan food – the matoke is orange and on the white plate


If this blog has prompted you to develop your delegation skills further, get in touch. A step by step checklist to consider is also available on the businessballs website here:

And if you are interested in the leadership training we are able to offer within Africa and beyond, take a look at what delegates from aprevious courses have to say:


Gill is passionate about developing the leadership capability of professionals in organisations to help them manage change, develop a positive culture and achieve successful business results.

The next programme of “Growing Your Leadership Edge” with SparkSync in Uganda is scheduled for November 2017.

If you would like to meet Gill for a coffee, to explore how she could contribute to your organisation’s ambition and opportunity for growth, please contact her here.


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