The Art of Delegating

Episode 23 | February 1, 2022

Not able to let go and delegate! 

Did you know by not learning to delegate you will kill your business?

Let’s talk about the Art of Delegating!

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When we’re building and leading a business, we all wear many hats.  

You’ll have to play the role of a salesperson, innovator, financial manager and leader while dealing with routine micro-tasks & distractions throughout the day.

It can be fun at first, but eventually, the novelty will wear off.

You’ll start working longer hours, nights and weekends, however your to do list just keeps growing.

Force yourself to delegate.

As business owners, we take ownership of our work.  

You want to do everything you can yourself.  

This is an admirable trait. 

Eventually you’ll have to force yourself to delegate some work to team members—even if you don’t want to.  

Even if they are higher level tasks you actively enjoy doing, it may be better for the long-term goal to delegate it to another staff member.

What should entrepreneurs delegate?

Low-value admin tasks

Such as sending invoices, chasing late payers, logging expenses, writing & posting social media content, email & calendar management.

I have a challenge for you! 

1.      Over the week or two, make a list of every task you do that doesn’t directly contribute to

the growth of your business.  You’ll probably see repeat patterns.

2.    Look at ways to automate or delegate those tasks.

The word “Delegating” doesn’t necessarily mean hiring permanent employees, you can just as easily delegate to freelancers and virtual assistants

High-value tasks you’re NOT in your Wheel House

Such as bookkeeping and Accounting, HR, website design, marketing, sales.

While you can certainly teach yourself how to do these tasks, will your performance be the same level or standard of a specialist with years of experience. 

Also realize, you’ll be considerably slower than an expert.

Delegating tasks effectively to team members creates more freedom for you to drive the business forward.

The delegation process can be overwhelming.

Hopefully some of these delegating tips will resonate with you and help you move feel more comfortable delegating effectively and confident in your delegation skills.

Take a proactive approach

Don’t waiting until you’re overwhelmed and on the verge of burning out, the task of delegating a few responsibilities may end up stressing you out even more.

This does not need to be an extremely difficult process.

Instead, you could recognize when your work is piling up too high, as early as possible, and address it before it gets out of control.

Take some time to get clear on what you need.

Who (or what) do you need exactly on your team to ensure things run smoothly?   

What are the strengths this person must have in order to get the job done?

Or is investing in a system a better option for this task?

Assess and understand your own strengths & weaknesses. 

Also, you need to really know your team’s weaknesses and strengths, and find the right person for the tasks.

Assigning tasks according to your employees strengths, helps to build confidence.

Decide what are the highest business generating activities that only you can do, then prioritize all other activities that are important but can be delegated out.

As you are in this early planning phase and assessing tasks, it is helpful to everyone to create SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures). 

Is it time consuming? Yes, but a worthwhile task to delegate tasks effectively.

Start creating written documents and videos of each task and all the expectations that go along with it.

Include instructions of what you need, the desired outcome and expected timelines

Invest time in teaching.

When you’re delegating, you may be saying, “I have to do this, because I’m the only one that knows how.”

Most likely there are tasks on your list that only you know how to do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach someone else how to do it.

Yes, you need to invest time to teach someone, but think of this training period as a long-term investment.  

You only have to teach someone once, and at that point, they can take on that task indefinitely.

Be a great leader and empower employees by having confidence in them.

Be patience.  

It may take someone else much longer than you to complete a task, however, it’s essential to be patient and let them do it because it’s the most effective way for them to learn. Effective Leaders lead through encouragement, not micro management.

Make your expectations clear

When delegating, be as specific as possible about your expectations and provide clear instructions.

Let your team know exactly how you expect the task to be completed, and when you expect it to be done by.  

Be sure to share the SOP’s you’ve created.

Try not to be a control freak

Focus more on the results not just the method.

There are many ways someone achieves a result try to focus more on the desired end result more than the methods that is being used to achieved the desired outcome.

Trust is great, but follow up anyway.

Once you assign a task or responsibility and establish a deadline, it’s fair for you to trust that the job will get done.  However, this doesn’t mean you are “hands off”.

It’s good practice to follow up and verify progress and check in and be sure there aren’t any questions you need to address.

If you need a calendar reminder to follow up on progress updates, set up your alerts and reminders.  Do not forget the follow up.

Have an open-door policy  

It’s essential to be open to your team member’s suggestions, concerns and feedback.  

This will ensure important information is being shared, necessary improvements are made and tackle we every problem.

Also allow them to open with you if they feel stuck and need assistance, creating the healthiest environments to express themselves.

These tips are about making sure your delegated tasks get done effectively, but more importantly, that you’re maintaining a healthy workload as an entrepreneur.

You need to learn to delegate effectively—it isn’t really optional.

Key tip: do what you’re best at and delegate the rest.  We have to remember that letting go allows space for more success not less. Successful delegation is a skill worth investing in.