How to Become a Master Delegator
And give yourself an unfair business advantage
And give yourself an unfair business advantage
Having a master delegator for any business is important. No business owner wants to continuously experience bottlenecks, accidental duplication of effort and missed deadlines.
If you’re working with a team then it’s crucial you’re on top of your delegation game.
Here’s what it takes…
One of the first things to do is to figure out what causes you to be apprehensive about delegation. Usually, the reasons have to do with perfectionism, self-protection and very likely a lack of workable systems in place or being unsure which tasks to delegate.
It’s not always about delegating your weaknesses. In fact, we explain why this might not be the best approach. And ultimately how to know what and when to outsource.
Before you even start delegating, it’s important to set up a system of some sort – like Basecamp or another online project management system.
As a master delegator, keep in mind some of the people you outsource to may have their own system which you can use. This is especially true of online business managers or project managers. We use Basecamp but we can also show you how we link it up to other systems (our clients use), e.g. Trello, Monday or Asana.
What’s important about having a system is oversight of each of the tasks that you’re delegating so that you know how they fit into your overall project and goals.
Go through the processes you use to do the tasks now, and write them down so that you can figure out how to streamline the processes.
However, do keep in mind that contractors are mostly concerned with deliverables, so this process is more for your benefit to find out what types of things you can delegate.
We find that a useful exercise to undertake to ensure that you have all your bases covered is to go through the Unpack your Business exercise. It’s about uncovering all the roles and tasks required to ensure that your business runs like a well-oiled machine.
Download the Unpack Your Business worksheet by clicking here
When you know what tasks you want to outsource, it’s important to find the right people for the job or task.
Recently I discovered Gino Wickman’s 3 keys to successfully hiring to scale. And it goes like this:
They need to tick all 3 to be the right person for the job.
This goes into the “Do they GET it” bucket.
It’s our responsibility to provide that person with the requirements, deadlines, scope of authority, purpose, goals and objectives, potential problems, and tools available to them.
If we’re unsure what the process is, this is also going to be where you are going to have someone who is unsure what they need to do.
Get clear on your own processes first and what is required so that you can delegate with authority.
And remember, as business owners we are so used to wearing all the hats ourselves, it can become a little second nature to perform the task. Be mindful that someone else cannot read your mind so be sure to include all aspects of the task.
Open up the communication by asking the contractor if they have any questions based on your instructions. That way they won’t be worried about asking anything even if it’s “stupid.”
The worst thing you can do is criticise a contractor for asking a question. And of course, you need to get back to them as soon as you can with your response.
In most cases, it’s best to focus more on deadlines and deliverables than too many details. How they get something done should not be as important as the result of what they got done.
If you have worked out your processes, the deliverables should be a byproduct of someone following through on those processes to get the job done.
Almost always when the job isn’t done to specifications I can point to gaps in the process or when the process has not been followed.
As often as is practicable give feedback to those undertaking the work for you. This is especially true if you would like something done differently than what they turned in but you still want to keep working with the person.
Give the feedback by:
The fact is, no one is perfect and who you outsource or delegate to will sometimes misunderstand directions.
As long as something isn’t blatant such as constantly missed deadlines, poor quality of work and so forth, mistakes are inevitable.
Also be aware that fear of making mistakes can sometimes put undue stress on the situation. Unfortunately this tends to amplify mistakes and stifle creativity.
Be open to new ideas and potential mistakes, while also being clear on your expectations.
The best way to become a master delegator is to let go and just do it.
Start with something small such as outsourcing some of your customer service based on templated responses, or repurposing your writing, or some minor graphic design.
Then onto longer / bigger projects, like social media marketing, ebook writing, campaign reporting…
If you’re unsure what to delegate, you can check out our free download – 65 Sales and Marketing Tasks You Can Outsource To A VA Today … to make more sales.
Here’s to stepping into the role of a Master Delegator!