If you cannot delegate fifty percent of what you are currently doing as a business owner, this will be the only business with its current size, that you will ever own.
Quote of the week:
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.” -Richard Branson of Virgin Group
Why delegating is important
If you can’t delegate, how can you grow your business? If the business is so dependent on you to do everything, you don’t need more staff. You have sucked the oxygen out of the business. You are not going to bring on any leaders because you are not giving them anything to do. You need to learn to delegate. You need to learn to be above your business and not get caught in the minutiae of what it takes to run a business. Often a failure to delegate is the result of an inflated sense of self-worth.
“The company needs me in there eighty hours a week.”
That is a rare situation. If I am working eighty hours a week, I am running eight businesses. If I am working eighty hours a week running a small business that means I am doing the jobs of five different people. We need to learn how to delegate. I believe there are eight pillars or unbreakable rules to starting and growing a successful business. One of the pillars states that you need to be a leader yourself.
You need to have the qualities of a high achiever and surround yourself with others like that. High achievers delegate items that are not imperative to the success of their project. They know what is important and what tasks only they can do. The rest they delegate. They have a team of people.
What happens if you are the person responsible for 75% of all the decisions? You create a bottleneck and nothing ever gets done. You need to create a process where you do not need to be present for everything. You need to think of your business as a HOV lane. It is high occupancy. This is where everyone is going seventy-five miles an hour and no one has their turn signals or hazards on. This is for everyone who wants to go from point A to point B fast. Most of the decisions and actions within our company need to flow like a HOV lane. As a business owner you can’t constantly bottleneck everything because you are insecure and want to run everything. If you want to run multiple businesses, you need to be able to delegate because you need to free up your time so you can start new businesses. Additionally, I don’t know how you have a great quality of life working eighty hours a week. It is hard to build a marriage or be a great parent working eighty hours a week.
How do you successfully delegate so that you can start other businesses, make more profit, and have a great personal life?
1. Start Small
This week, get one thing off your to-do list. I am encouraging you to find one thing that you do every week that you know is redundant and anyone could do it. I don’t care if it is picking up your dry cleaning. I often hear people say, “Isn’t it demeaning to give someone that responsibility?” No, it is not. If I am paying someone a salary and they are in an entry-level position, I choose how I word the task. You can word any task and make it sound beneath someone, but if you say it with a smile, stress how helpful they are, and genuinely thank them after they finish it, they will do most tasks for you. Start delegating one thing off your to-do list that you do each and every week.
2. Be Selective
Give a responsibility to someone who has shown the ability or desire and wants to receive items delegated. They want to do something and they have an appetite for it. If you are in an entry-level position and want to get ahead, go to your boss once a week and ask him or her, “Is there anything I can do for you this week?” You will be a hero. Delegate items to people who have a desire to be helpful and have the ability to get the task done. Do not delegate to people that you know are going to fail, who have no track record of being consistent. Be selective in who you choose to delegate tasks to.
3. Delegate a task that you never thought you would get someone else to do.
Now you are making the big step. You have started delegating some average level responsibilities or time wasters. I want you to give a responsibility away that a year ago you would have said, “I can’t delegate that.” Choose someone specific who can handle it. They may need some updated training or you may need to touch base with them for a few weeks to make sure they can handle it. Taking this step is essential if you want to run another business or you want to grow your existing business and you want to add another division that you need to spearhead. It is also important if you want to create a higher quality of life and spend more time with your family, for example.
4. The Six Week Test
Pretend that you would have to leave your company for six weeks, for whatever reason. How would you delegate responsibilities if you were not present for six weeks? That is your final objective: in a year from now, you could delegate your entire job description to another person. If you think that is impossible, there are only two reasons why. 1. You have not trained someone to do that. 2. You have a lack of talent. You don’t have anyone on your staff that has that level of competency. That is a huge problem. A year from now, you want to be able to delegate your job description in total so you could walk away for six weeks. When you have achieved that you have truly accomplished wealth. That frees you up to build another business and has also shown that you have created a systematic business which can lead to franchising and other exciting opportunities.