Delegation – An Artform for Business

Hello Chasers,

Many business owners suffer from the ‘only I can syndrome’ i.e., they believe that no one else is capable of doing the tasks as well as they can.

And guess what?

They are probably right!

But too many business owners lose their health, efficiency, ability to develop new ideas and productivity because they refuse to delegate. And they limit the potential of their business and their people at the same time.

Over the past 40 years, a consistent frustration I hear from business owners is that they wish they had more time to get stuff done. And believe me, I understand for as a perfectionist I really struggled to let go of important tasks in my early days.

I quickly found that for me to become super productive, the solution was to delegate work to the right people. I would get them to complete the task to at least 80% of what I would consider acceptable and then review that task with them, finesse and fine tune the remaining 20%.

The old pareto analysis or 80/20 rule.

Effective delegation is a skill that we can learn and benefit from provided you have a continual improvement mindset and are willing to put in time to develop it.

Here are 5 things I have learned about the art of delegation:

  • Time Management

You cannot delegate properly or successfully if you are time poor. This is a strange comment because it is those time poor people who need the benefits of delegation to free them up. You need to be able to manage the time to assess the task for delegation, time to set up the right person for the task, and time to monitor and give feedback to team members when they are undertaking a delegated task or have completed it.

  • Make the Instructions Super Clear

This is a very critical step to prevent misunderstanding. Use technology, such as ‘Loom’, to record computer based tasks on steps to complete repetitive tasks so the recipient can easily follow and then get them to develop a simple system that can be followed by anyone for future use. Build your own – This is How We Do It Manual!

  • Is It the Right Task?

There are some aspects of work that I really enjoy doing and I want to be able to keep doing that. I make sure that I don’t delegate those things as I have a super skill in those areas that my Team don’t have because of the years of experience I have accumulated. Also, have a look at the dollar value of the task. Is it a $20 per hour task like cleaning windows or is it a $400 per hour task like a tax planning meeting. If you can make a list of the lower dollar value tasks that you are doing you can then earmark them for delegation so that you can then have more time doing those tasks you love or the more valuable work for your business.

  • Give Your People the Chance to Grow

You really don’t know what others around you are capable of until they are given a chance. Don’t assume anything. Less experienced people need the challenge, and you may be the only obstacle to their progress, as well as yours. This starts by hiring people with the right mindset and attitude. Our Team are great examples of this. The type of work they are able to take on and complete has freed up my time considerably to focus on other aspects of the business. Always provide the highest incentive to complete delegated work, and inspire loyalty and trust, by giving positive individual feedback deserved, as well as peer recognition for progress and results. Don’t make the mistake of always taking credit and never giving credit for work.

  • Accountability & Deadlines

Always expect to check interim milestones, and be attentive to other indicators of good progress or problems. We hold a ten-minute daily huddle in the morning and the afternoon to inform the team what we are currently working on and when we will have it completed and have found that this regular monitoring keeps us on track and able to meet the myriad of deadlines our business has set.

Taking the step towards delegation and letting go of tasks is a huge, huge mental challenge for many solo operators and even business owners with a small team. But as soon as you can accept that another person can do the work at least 80% as well as you, your life and business will take off with more opportunities and time to do things.

Your growth and the growth of your business depend on your ability to manage the bigger picture, as well as get the day-to-day work done.

This is the art of delegation.

Have a great day!

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