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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.