The Great Hunt - Chapters 15 & 16 [#100Days, Day 46]

Still Learnin'

    Back to Rand, Loial and Hurin, wherever they are.  Hurin is able to follow Fain's trail; although it appears to gradually be getting more and more faint.  Their first night, Rand takes the first watch and holds it all the way through the night.  He tests the water at a stream before letting the others drink: "He had gotten them into this; it was his responsibility (p. 198)."

    "You should not have done it, Lord Rand," Hurin said when Rand woke the others just at daybreak.  The sun yet hid below the horizon, but there was light enough to see.  The fog had melted away while dark still held, fading reluctantly.  "If you use yourself up to spare us, my Lord, who will see to getting us home?"
Hurin, The Great Hunt, p. 207

    Rand's sense of responsibility is admirable - he dives right in and takes complete ownership of the situation.  He still has a lot to learn.  Delegation is a vital skill in the leader's arsenal.  Trying to do everything by himself, Rand will certainly burn out.  Delegation allows the leader to free up bandwidth for strategic planning by pushing routine tasks to subordinates.  Delegation requires trust; which Rand is fortunate to have in Hurin and Loial.  From Hurin's perspective, Lord Rand is the only person who can get them out of the situation.  A lifelong soldier and thieftaker, he's never encountered this sort of reality before; his pragmatism dictates that it's clearly well above his paygrade, and he needs to protect Lord Rand to the fullest to ensure he brings them all home.  

    Delegation seems to conflict with responsibility and ownership.  It's challening to give up control to others, when the responsibility for the end-state is the leader's.  Having complete ownership would seem to require the leader to control everything.  It's just the opposite.  Trust is the foundation; delegation is an active component in expressing that trust.  Just as delegation spreads the workload amongst the team, it also spreads trust.  Like the rest of us, Rand still has a lot to learn about leadership.

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