Today I was reminded to be a bit more careful when I delegate.
You see two weeks ago I was asked to review and update some documents for one of our clients. Simple enough. I took the phone call and soon after received the files in to my email account. I reviewed the request and emailed back with a short message saying “no problem Susan, you’ll have them by the end of the week.” I also forwarded the email to someone in my team and asked “could you please action this and return today.”
Well that was two weeks ago and today I received a follow up call from Susan asking why the documents hadn’t been returned. Aarrgghh!!
I had some apologising to do. Fortunately Susan was kind to enough to let me off the hook because we certainly don’t make a habit of not doing what we say we will do.
How did this happen? In simple terms, I expected the docs to be completed and returned as I’d asked. But I didn’t inspect to make sure it was done. Rookie error.
For some reason I’d forgotten two critical steps:
- The email that I’d forwarded to my team should have had an extra line saying “please let me know when the docs are sent.”
- I should have checked to make sure the job was done.
No real harm was done today, but, it was an excellent reminder to assume nothing.
Inspect what you expect - every single time.