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The Biggest Mistake Leaders Make In Delegation (Learn To Delegate Like A Pro)

I recently took my team to Leadercast 2014.  During our lunch break I was asking everyone on our team what their greatest takeaway from the morning was.  Our 20 year old program director, Meredith, floored me with her response.  I realized that I had learned the same lesson after years of struggling with delegation.  However, she picked up on it and put words to my greatest challenge with delegation in a few hours.  I learned a lot at Leadercast, but I didn’t expect this lesson on how to delegate tasks.

How to delegate to my team.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Back to my conversation with Meredith.


Me to Meredith; “What’s your greatest takeaway so far?

Meredith; “I’m good at delegating tasks.  I’m terrible at delegating decisions.

And there it was my friend.  I realized I had mastered task delegations years ago.  In fact, pretty quick into my leadership journey I had delegating tasks down.

  1. Identity the next action step required.
  2. Decide the best equipped person to handle the action step.
  3. Assign it to them.
  4. Record the assignment in whatever task management system I was using at the time.  (I’m now 100% on Nozbe and loving it thanks to Jackie Bledsoe Jr.).
  5. Followup with the person when the action step requires it depending on difficulty, due date, etc.

Pretty simple.


But, I never felt like I was getting ahead.


How about you?  Do you feel more or less free to dream about the vision of your organization and how to reach it as you delegate more and more?  I for one was always confused.  Why was I still so swamped when I had everything delegated out?


Enter Dave Ramsey book Entreleadership.


From Mr. Ramsey, I learned and use the 3 suggestions rule.  (Actually, I only require 2.)  The rule is this.  When you bring me a problem, come with 3 (or 2) suggestion on how to fix it.  After I’m presented the problem and the suggested solutions I decide on a course of action.  I make sure the person knows why or why I’m not using one of their suggestions.  Over time, I learn how my team thinks and they learn how to think like me when solving problems.  After a few rounds of this, I can eventually say; “You no longer need to bring problems like this to me.  I trust you to decide.”

Overall, this has been working great.  And Meredith helped me see what I was actually doing in this process.  I was delegating decisions.

When I would simply delegate task in the past without delegating the authority to make decisions….I was setting my team up to have to come back to me with questions.  However, once I started passing on the responsibility to make decisions I started noticing more time in my day to focus on the things that only I can do.

With Dave Ramesy’s approach I am teaching my team how to make decisions.  Thus, delegating decisions making when the team member is ready.  Now that Meredith has helped me connect the dots, I’m going to be able to be even more intentional.


What I Have To Stop Doing.


I also had another light bulb moment.  And, that lead to me apologizing to my team.  Recently I would reply like this when asked about something I didn’t need to be involved in.  “You decide, I don’t care.”

What I thought I was saying was this; “You can decide this.  I trust you.  I don’t need to care about this, because you have it covered.”

What I now realize I was covertly communicating.  “You decide.  I don’t care about small things like this.  It’s such a small decision, it’s beneath me.  You are only capable of handling this kind of small thing and I don’t care.  Only bother me with the big important stuff.”

Not what I thought, felt nor meant.  But the words we use matter.

Now, I will simply reply;  “Thanks for asking.  However, I trust you.  I’d like for you to decide.  I’ll support you whatever you decide.”  And, after saying this a few times, I’ll just cut it down to; “You can decide this.  I trust you.”

What About You?  Do you delegate decisions as well as you delegate tasks?


What Do You Know?


I would appreciate any insight you can share on delegation in the comments or by sending me an email.



Creating Family Core Values (Why and How)

Just like an organizations or companies core values, having core values as a family has several benefits.  But how do you write a set of family core values?  And, once you do have your core values for your family; what do you do with them?

My wife, Marissa and I decided to write a set of core values for our family.  We knew that the benefits would include at least:

  1. Providing us a tool to be on the same page in parenting decisions.
  2. Help us establish a more clear picture of where we want our family to head for the future.
  3. Help each of us make parenting decisions the other would make when we can’t talk a decision over.
  4. Give our kids the road map.
  5. Set our kids up with an easy to remember filtering system to have in making decisions as they get older.

So we set out to create the Dingler Family Core Values.

Family Core Values

The Dingler Family Core Values

The Process We Used


We talk about the core values for several weeks. Each of us spent time thinking and praying about what we should include.  We read other blogs posts, listened to some specific podcasts (okay, so that might have been just me) and talk with friends.

We made plans for a babysitter to watch the kids during and after a speaking engagement at the Parenting Expo in Pittsburgh early in 2014.

After we got off stage, we went to one of our favorite restaurants; Smokey Bones.

We got a table in the back corner and got to talking and writing.

After a few hours we settled on 7 core values.

We left and gave the core values a couple weeks to marinate.

One afternoon on a long drive, we decided to keep the 7 we had.  We wanted some easy way to remember them.  As we talked about several options, I realized that our last name happens to have 7 letters.  Once we started to assign each core value to one of the letters of our last name; we were shocked how fast and easy it happened.  (Almost freaky easy between you and me.)

Marissa found a store on Etsy and had our core values turned into the wall hanging you see pictured here.

Advice For You To Create Your Family Core Values


  • Give it time.
  • Pray about it.
  • Give it time.
  • Pray about it.
  • Talk about it.
  • Give it time.

How To Keep These From Just Being Art


Our next challenge is to make sure these don’t simply become wall art.  We strategically hung our core values beside our kitchen table.  We do (and will always) eat dinner together as a family.  Having these right there will guide our conversations as our kids get older and we speak truth into their decisions.

Starting next week I’m going to focus on one core value per week.  I plan to study each of our core values one at a time, one week at a time, forever.  I will look for different supporting Bible passages. (I will assigned each core value a color highlight and I’m highlighting corresponding scriptures in the appropriate color or two or three etc)  Is this a commitment of time.  Yes.  But, it’s just one small way I’ll ensure I’m being the Leader for my family that God has called me to be.

Finally, we have to talk to our kids about these core values all the time.  Marissa and I realize that our kids are going to roll their eyes every time we quote one of these core values. And I’m okay with that.  Because when the darkness comes, they’ll be equipped with the light of truth to scare away the monsters in the world.

Care To Share


What about you?  What’s the first core value you plan to recommend to your spouse for your family?


If you have any questions email me directly.



How To Eradicate Anger In Your Marriage


Not one married person with a healthy psychology wants to be angry at their spouse or have their spouse angry with them.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

But it happens all the time.  Just look at divorce statistics or listen to the Dave Ramsey Radio show or other talk shows that take live callers.  Daytime TV talk shows also spotlight anger in marriage pretty often.

How does anger seep into a marriage and destroy it?

The answer is very simple.

Anger is the symptom of a blocked goal.  

Anger is a symptom not the problem.  Trying to address the anger, will only give you a bandaid.  You can use the anger to discover the real problem to address.

  • One spouse has a goal to save money and the other keeps spending it.
  • One spouse has a goal to have a clean and presentable house and the other spouse drops their (his) socks all over the place.
  • One spouse wants soft butter and likes it out on the counter.  The other spouse thinks it will go bad on the counter and wants it in the fridge so it last longer.
  • One spouse has a goal provide for the family comfort by working hard to provide a “nice” house, lots of toys, great vacations, etc..  The other spouse wants quality family time together regularly over having the newest iPhone or a nice boat.
  • One spouse has a goal to be a couple that dates.  The other thinks it’s a stupid idea.
  • And on and on the list goes.


Don’t Be Angry, Have Clear Goals  


So how do we fix this?  How do we build a Force Field around our marriages to protect them from anger?

  • Understand the difference between goals and desires.

A goal that requires the action of someone isn’t a goal, it’s a desire.  If you have a goal for your family to spend time together, you are going to get angry when your spouse decides to do something else.  Your bad goal has been blocked.

  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Do you and your spouse have shared goals and desires?  Have you talked about them since pre-marrige counseling?  You need to talk about your goals and desires all the time.  We change with time, so do our desires which means we need to adjust our goals.

  • Be submissive.

One of your desires should be for your spouse to be happy.  This can’t be a goal, because you can’t make someone feel happy.  However, you can put their preferences and desires before your own.  You can let them pick the movie or restaurant.  You can have a goal to not complain or roll your eyes when your spouse suggest doing something you don’t want to do.


  • Read the post by Jackie Bledsoe on developing a marriage plan.
  • Get instant access to 6 fun and unique date ideas. (Hint: 4 of them can be done for less then $20) Click Here
  • Write down your goals and desires.  Decide which is a goal and which is really a desire.  Share that list with your spouse.
  • Check out the book The Five Love Languages.




Question:  What’s a blocked goal that was causing tension and anger in your marriage?  What other ares in life do you see this principle applying to?  What’s your favorite marriage book?

If you are a blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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The Best Time To Teach Your Kids The Most Important Life Lessons

Have you heard the myth “Kids don’t come with instruction manuals.”?

Image courtesy of digitalart at

Image courtesy of digitalart at

There are two dangers in believing this myth:

  1. The responsibility to be a “parent” can seem overwhelming.
  2. Many parents give raising their kids successfully over to chance.

Don’t believe this myth.

I actually have two instruction manuals for my kids.

Parenting without a plan is the fastest way to raise your kids without equipping them to have the best life they can.

If you’re a parent, you need to know about this one instruction manual we’ve all been given. In it, it says, “Teach this stuff to your kids. Talk about it with them before going to bed and as soon as you get up, while going about your day and while resting.

The author is telling us that every moment is a teaching moment with our kids.

There are at least two reasons this is true:

  1. We don’t have forever and a day to teach our kids what they need to know
  2. We are teaching most when we ain’t meaning to be teaching at all.  In other words, more is caught than is taught.

The first instruction manual I’m talking about is the Bible.  For this post, I’m specifically talking about Deuteronomy 6:7.

Make Your Parenting Count; 5,6,7; is one of the parenting workshops I facilitate. The 5 comes from Deuteronomy being the 5th book of the Bible, the 6th chapter at the 7th verse tells us; “Teach this stuff to your kids….all the time” (I‘m paraphrasing of course) The main point, more is caught than is taught.


Be a 5, 6, 7 Parent


  • Read Deuteronomy chapter 5 and Deuteronomy 6:4 for a list of the most important lessons we are to teach our children.  Then, read Chapter 6 verse 7 to see when we are to teach our kids these most important lessons. 
  • Explore and grasp the total concept of more is caught than is taught. For example; how you treat people teaches your kids more about how they are to treat people than how you tell them to treat people. (You might have to read that again, I had to type twice to get it right.)
  • If your married, you and your spouse must be on the same page. If you’ve never talked about this, plan a night away just the two of you, to talk about this. You need a plan of action for your parenting. (I’m blushing, but sure…you can click to tweet that)
  • Follow the 10 commandments…even the ones about not lying and not wanting what isn’t yours.
  • Get connected to a strong healthy church.
  • Begin writing letters to your kids in the future. (These by the way have become my second instruction manual for my kids.)
  • Be involved and be focused in the lives of your kids. Not more then you are in your relationship with God or your spouse. Like it or not, in the healthiest families, kids come third. (Actually they come first by making them third…I call this the Parenting Equation, it’s some crazy math)
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?


  • Identify what you need to do in your relationship with God and make that priority.
  • Right now, write your kids a letter for this date next year. Make them a promise of something you want to model better. Maybe it’s telling the truth, being nicer to strangers, not gossiping, etc. Work to make the change you just promised your kid.
  • Read Deuteronomy 5 and 6 (this will take you five minutes)



Add your thoughts to the comments or on my Facebook Page

  • What do you think about the idea of making your kids first by putting them third?
  • What tip or suggestion works for you to practice more is caught than is taught?

10 Ideas For Husbands To Keep Your Marriage Strong and Growing

If you are a Husband and you want a better marriage, you’ll need to tell your wife this one thing everyday, and it’s not “I Love You.”

While those three words are important, they’re not the only words she needs (or even wants) to hear.

She needs to know you would choose her again.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

She needs to hear this and “I Love You” everyday in a variety of ways.

After all, if your boss were to say the phrase “nice job” every single day for every single thing you do…you’ll start to wonder if they are being genuine or just saying what a boss should say.

Let’s be honest for a moment — not saying I’m lying anywhere else, it’s just a saying — anyway, let’s be honest. If you are a husband and a workplace leader you probably study how to communicate better to your team.

You’ll study and use things like, DISC personalities and Five Languages of Appreciation In The Workplace, But, as soon as someone talks about studying ways to better communicate to your wife, your mind immediately thinks something like…”crap, I know this is going to end up with me watching the Notebook.”

Put your chick-flick fears to rest. I’m not going to recommend you do that…not yet.

Here’s the deal guys. Your wife needs to know that if you two weren’t together, you’d still chase her like you did when you were dating. She needs to know you would choose her again and again and again.  She needs you to be chasing her.


Tell Her Everyday, “I’d choose you again.”


  1. Reach out and hold her hand in public, open doors for her, eat at her favorite restaurant…you know…like when you were dating.
  2. Use International Star Registry and name a star after the two of you, tell her “Babe, you and I are written in the stars forever.”
  3. Learn her Love Language and speak it every day. (Get the book)
  4. NEVER leave the house without kissing her…even if you are going out to mow the lawn.
  5. Text her randomly throughout the day that you love her.
  6. Just tell her, “I’d choose you again.”.
  7. Leave her notes.
  8. Write her a letter for your next anniversary. Seal it, hang it on the fridge and tell her she can open on that day. In the letter, tell her how you feel. (This could lead to watching a chick-flick on your anniversary. but once a year won’t kill you.)
  9. If she is a stay at home mom, admit she works harder then you and support her anyway you can.
  10. Remember, inside…your wife is a precious girl who wants and needs to hear everyday she is beautiful.
  11. ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?


  • Buy a star.
  • Plan a time for your next date and put it on your calendar.
  • Tell her right now, “I was thinking, and I’d choose you again.”
  • Write that letter for the fridge.



  • Husbands, what other ideas do you have?
  • Wives, I’d love to hear your thoughts…do you agree or disagree with me?  What would you add to the list?

If you are another blogger and have a post related to this that others might find helpful, please feel free to share a link in the comments.

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