3 Key Points in this Episode:
- There is a correct way to delegate, and you need to know how to do it properly.
- I will share my formula for setting things up so that when you delegate it will work for your business.
- There is a trap that you can easily fall into and I will tell you how to avoid it.
Episode 126: In this episode, we are going to talk about why there is a correct and incorrect way to delegate and what it can do for your business when you get it right.
Let’s get started with the correct way to delegate.
Systems are the Solution
You’ve heard me say it before and I will keep saying it until everyone who listens can be woken up at 3 am out of dead sleep and answer this question without hesitation:
Me – “What is the solution?”
You – “Systems are the solution, Jamie.”
Delegation is critical to long term success in business otherwise you don’t have a business you have a job.
If you can’t get your employees to do the key things that make your business work, you are in deep trouble.
Why do I say that?
Because the business owner that beats the staggering odds and gets past the first 5-years most certainly will close their business before they reach 10-years in business. The research is clear that one of the dominant reason this happens is sheer exhaustion.
If your business cannot function without you then you don’t own your business, your business owns you and it is a demanding taskmaster that will use you up until you have nothing left to give financially, physically, and emotionally.
The Formula for Setting Things Up Correctly
So, now that I have clearly articulated why you need to be a great delegator, I want to share with you my formula which will put you on the path to operating a fully systemized business and a leader who delegates effectively.
Step 1 – Write It Down
If you can’t write down how to do something you aren’t able to delegate. The act of writing down exactly what you want to be done in a point form checklist has a dual purpose. First, it allows you to think through exactly in what order the task should be done. Second, that point form checklist is the beginning of a well-documented business system.
Step 2 – Make Sure It Works
The next step is to do the task using your checklist to make sure it works the way you want it to, and it produces the results you are expecting consistently. Document those results.
Step 3 – Teach the Person Patiently
Now you’re ready to delegate the task to one of your employees. Make sure this person can do the task and patiently go through the checklist one step at a time. Ask questions like, “does that make sense?” or “do you think you can do it this way?” Really listen to the feedback because sometimes the employee will see something that you don’t.
Step 4 – Delegate the Task
At the completion of the training you are ready to delegate the task to the employee but there is one more thing you must do. Remember how you measured the results when you tested the system?
Well, that was with a purpose that comes into play now. Give your employee a clearly defined expectation of when you want the task to be completed. My suggestion is that you add a 20% buffer because employees rarely will do the task as quickly as you will.
Step 5 – Measure Results and Make Changes as Needed
It is up to you as the leader or manager to check in with the employee periodically to make sure things are going as planned and to remind them of when you expect the task to be completed. Once they complete the task successfully you can compare how they did to how you did and make needed adjustments if necessary.
That is my formula for delegating. I hope that it has helped you to see that the reason most people are terrible delegators is that they do not have the discipline to systemize their business which leads me to an important warning.
After the break, I am going to tell you about a trap that you can easily fall into and how to avoid it.
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Avoid the Trap of Abdication
We are back from our break, now before the break, I promised I would tell you about a trap that you can easily fall into and how to avoid it.
Most people don’t delegate they abdicate.
Abdication can be defined this way: Failure to fulfill a duty or role.
When leaders think they are delegating they are often abdicating because they expect the employee to do all the work we outlined in my formula for delegation. Then to add insult to injury they get mad at employees who don’t perform up to their expectations.
When I describe it like this, I bet every one of you listening have a memory of a time when someone did this to you.
Do you remember how unfair it was when you were being criticized for not completing a task and you never really knew what to do, how to do it, or when it needed to be done by?
This is a trap; it doesn’t lead to building a better business and it doesn’t lead to success.
I want you to make a commitment to yourself that you will never abdicate anything that is your responsibility again and that you will develop your own formula (you can borrow mine if you want to) for delegating that leads to systemization.
Your employees will thank you and trust me you will be better off in the long run. It does take time and energy now but it pays off huge later.
This brings episode 126 to a conclusion.
On Tuesday, we are going to talk to Susan Gonzales, Susan is an amazing woman – basically, she is a superhero – and we talk about the 4 essential attributes every entrepreneur needs to be successful.
Talk to you on Tuesday.
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Thank you for listening and I look forward to talking with you soon.