Becoming a Master Delegator

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People ask me all the time, how do I make that big jump to 6 and 7-figures? What's the one thing that I have to do that's really the catalyst? Many have heard me say this before: It's always you. Get you out of the way, because it's always about what are you willing to do? What are you not willing to do? That's pretty much what makes the difference.

If you want to do big things, they don't happen by accident, so we have to get really intentional, really conscious around what's the stuff that's really working and what's the stuff that you may like to do, that you may think is good, but in the end it's really not what pushes the needle forward. What's the one thing that will be that big catalyst for you to get to whatever that next level is, six figures, seven figures? Maybe you're still struggling with five, but all those things are really important.

Let’s talk about becoming a master delegator. I've worked with clients at all different levels, and that's been a giant sticking point. Even seven-figure business people struggle with this, so this might sound simple, but I promise you there's a whole lot more to it than you might think. It's a big ball of wax. As always, I want to talk about the mindset piece first because, like I keep saying, it's that 90/10 distribution. 90% of what makes the biggest difference in your business is having a really solid mindset and knowing how to connect with the stuff that works, making you show up, making you stronger, and then you can go in and go for that other 10%, which are all the great strategies. We're going to talk about both.

First, you have to admit that you can't do it all. When you're growing your business, there's always going to be stuff that you think you're good at, and maybe you've been doing it because of course, when your business is in its infancy stages, you do it all. That's just how it is. Then, as you move on and you add a lot of different things to your business, and you need to do that so your business can grow, you have to keep looking at what's the most important role for you and what are the things that really are not in your best interests for you to keep doing.

First of all, you have to admit to you that you can't do it all, and furthermore that you doing it all is actually hurting your business. You really have to admit to this piece that somebody else could probably do it better than you. Because when you look at what you do, no matter how genius you are at what you're doing, there are really only two or three core competencies that you are incredibly good at, that you love doing, and that really help your business to thrive. Those are two or three things. That's maybe 20% of what you're doing. Then, the other 80%, somebody else could do better, faster, and cheaper than you. You may go, "What is she talking about? I'll have to pay them." Of course, you'll have to pay them, but that gets us to the next section, where we're going to talk about strategy.

Once you admit to that you need to delegate and you are open to the fact that it's actually going to be the thing that really, really helps your business grow, then you have to figure out what to delegate. Delegation is a shared responsibility. Whoever you're working with, you have to make sure that you treat them like a partner, because if you treat them like somebody who's just doing stuff that you don't want to do, they're not going to be terribly excited about it and they're not going to be the people who are really the right people on your bus, who are really going to understand your mission and your vision and help you drive your business forward in the best way possible.

You have to get the buy-in from the people who you're delegating to, and whether that's your chief operating officer or just somebody off Upwork who's doing data entry for you--when they understand what you're going for, who you are, and what you're about, they're going to do a much, much better job than they ever could if you don't do this, and that takes time to help them get to this place.

First, of course, you have to figure out to whom are you going to delegate. You do the best you can. You find the best possible match. I admit, I have broken a lot of assistants when I was learning how to be a better leader, how to delegate, how to do the right thing. I know that's going to be the same thing for some of you guys, for most of you guys, because it's a learned skill. You have to understand how to lead people and how to get them to really show up for you in the best way possible and to have it be something that they love to do so that they give it their all.

First, you have to figure out who's going to be the right person to do the job, and then how to manage them. One of my favorite books talks about this, you can literally read it in an hour, The One Minute Manager, and it makes an incredibly good point. When you first hire somebody, yes, it will actually take you more time than if you do it yourself, because you have to bring them on board. You have to train them. There's lots of pitfalls that you might dip into and that you want to avoid. It takes quite a bit of time to bring on the right person and make sure that they can really do a good job for you.

If you don't help them enough, if you're not present enough, if you're not engaged and involved enough in their training, you're probably going to have to deal with a lot of mistakes. Things are going to go wrong, you'll have stuff that gets missed, you'll have things falling through the cracks. For a lot of you guys out there who have a hard time letting go, that'll be a great piece of evidence that it's not working. You actually have to take radical responsibility at that moment and admit that it's not that person who's having a hard time, it's actually you not stepping up and not really being enough of a leader so they can do a good job.

First, figure out who the right person is, and then you have to really step up and manage them the right way so that they can do a great job. Then, there's the fine line between being the person who's giving enough direction and enough information and being a pain in the ass micromanager who nobody wants to really work with. Then, once you figure out what you do want to delegate, then the next really important piece is what not to. That comes down to you again, because here's the deal:

Like we just talked about, you really have only those two or three core competencies that you're really great at and that are the perfect and right things for you to do so that you can really grow your business powerfully, and sometimes they're not the things that you really want to do, at least not in the beginning. Because as your business grows, your role changes in your business, and you may have to do something like leading, like becoming more visible, like managing people, like being a lot more engaged with people that a lot of you guys don't want to do. A lot of times getting into business for yourself is just about you, so then becoming a leader is a difficult transition sometimes.

It is the most important thing you can do to really give your business a chance to grow. Thinking about what the things are that you should not delegate, thinking about what the things are that are really crucial, and you have to be very honest with yourself, because some of you control people out there, you might just go, "I have to do everything," because that's a lot of times the first inclination. Once you can separate from that, ... you have to look at this very neutrally:  what are those two or three things that you should really keep? Most of the time, that's the role of the CEO. That's why my program is called Seven Figure CEO, because that's how I want you guys to think. Even if you're just going to five figures or six figures, you have to act like you have that long-range vision, that you really understand what your most powerful role is.

Let's just call it you are the CEO of your business. You have to really look at what the most important things are for you to do? A lot of times it's building relationships, making sure that there's funding, lead flow, making sure that all the people who are working with you are communicating with each other, and that you can lead your leaders. You can scale this no matter where you're at. This is the same when you hire your first VA or you have a hundred person plus team.

You have to really understand that for you, to make a big difference in your business, you have to always operate at your highest and best use. Highest and best use is really, like we were talking about, being in those two or three core competencies. What you have to realize is that any time you slip, any time you say, "Yes," to a low-value activity, you say, "No," to a high-value activity. Keep that in mind.

Every time you want to just dip in and get into the weeds and do stuff that you really shouldn't be doing like IT stuff, other details, there's a lot of stuff that you're not delegating. Don't go backwards and start on that. Think about your highest and best use all the time and keep saying, "Yes," to the high-value activities and say, "No," to the low value and then really think about who's the best person for you to do this.

Then, it's that growing in your role piece. Most likely, like I said in the beginning, what you have to do, what's really going to move your business forward is not the thing you got into business for. This means becoming a leader. Being a leader is that you have to let go of doing. Your role is really about having that 30,000-foot view where you can take into account holistically what your business needs, where you really need to step in, where you need to have people who are doing stuff for you, and what the different roles are and how that gets parceled out in the most effective, efficient, and most powerful way. This is about you stepping into leadership. Like I said, this could just be with the first VA that you're hiring or with your 100 person team. It's pretty much the same thing, just at a different level of complexity.

This is a lot of stuff. I know this is, for some of you guys, super counterintuitive because you believe that you deliver the best service and the best product if you have control of it all and you can make sure that every piece is taken care of at the standard, at the level that you want it, but the truth is that if you're going to keep doing it all, it won't be. Really important for you guys to really, really acknowledge the truth in this piece.

Let's talk about just the practical thing. What makes delegation work? Here's a three-step process for how to delegate effectively, and it's really three things:  first, it's your vision, then it's your resources, and then it's your milestones and knowing when it's done. When you have a project to delegate, you have to be able to communicate what you want, what your vision is to the person or the team who's doing it. Get very clear about what you need done. That's the first step.

If you don't delegate it, for a lot of us, that's the hardest part. Get clear about what you need done, why you want it done, so it's really the what, why, and the when. What do you want done, why you want it done, so that gives people the whole mission and vision behind it so that they can buy in and get emotionally connected to it and that they really understand why they're doing something. What's the timeline? By when do you need certain XYZ... Are there different phases? Is it just one thing? When does it need to get done by? When do you need to check in with each other? Make sure you cover that step. Super important.

The next step is getting clear on resources and communicating those. This is, for instance, if the person who's doing it needs access to certain information, do they need to have passwords, do they need access to training or software, any systems checklists that you need to give them? What's the time allotted for the different phases? Really just think about the practical matters so whoever you're delegating to can be successful, so they don't have to message you every five minutes, "Oh, I need the password for PayPal," or, "I don't understand how to get into your Facebook account," or ... You get the idea. Make sure everybody has what they need so they can be successful.

The third step is knowing what the milestones are to be successful on this project, and when the project is done ... What constitutes "done"? How do you know when something is actually done? Again, if it's more complicated, you probably have a timeline when you need certain things done by so that the different phases can be completed. Also, what's the ultimate outcome? Be super clear about that and communicate that to your team.

The next thing is ... Here are the specifics. Do they need approvals? Can they just keep going when they think it's done or when they think these milestones are complete? Do you want them to check in with you? Do they have somebody else they need to check with? Make sure that they know what this is about. Especially when your team gets bigger, all that stuff should be documented. You should have some sort of project management tool, software that you're using so everybody can see where you're at, where everybody's at so that everybody can base their collaboration on the speed of the project, on the completion of it. Make sure that every step is documented so everybody can know where things are.

Other people on your team, do they need to know when certain things are complete so they can keep going? That's also that information crossover and collaboration ... crossover that you need to manage. The three steps were 1.  communicate your vision, 2.  make sure everybody has the resources they need, and then 3.  be very clear what the milestones and what "done" means for the project.

So think a little bit about where you really need to start delegating so your business can flow better, how do you do it in the most powerful and effective way possible. Now, this is just a tiny bit of information to get you going. It's a little bit of a bandaid. If you want to dive deeper, we have a great Facebook group, The Art of Scaling to Seven Figures. Come and see us there. There are great discussions every day about stuff in terms of growing your business. Come into our Facebook group, participate in the daily threads, ask questions, get information, and make sure that you get what you need so you can really grow your business powerful.