If you can delegate, you must

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith has a great sidebar titled “If you can delegate, you must” in which they say:

If you can delegate a task to someone else (or to a machine, for that matter) in order to save either time or costs, it is your duty to do so.

Their argument is about productivity and work quality, but for a community organizer there is another element to this. When you delegate to volunteers, you strengthen your organization by increasing buy-in and improving the connections the volunteers have to your group.

This relates to Saul Alinsky’s Iron Rule of Organizing, “Never do for others what they can do for themselves.”

For me, this is a case of something that’s easier to blog about than to do. Whether it’s tweaking our database, developing a flier, or creating a website for a coalition, I have a tendency to do things myself.

So my challenge to myself and my challenge to you is to share the load, delegate what you can, and strengthen you organization by doing so. It’s smart, it will help your work, and it’s good organizing.

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