Originally on May 5, 2014
*To help our readers navigate their businesses and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are re-posting this relevant blog post from May 5, 2014
Do you find yourself saying any of the following?
If any of these statements sound familiar, it’s time to dare to delegate. Chances are, you’re spending too much time at work focusing on things that drain you.
Over the years of working with entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that many struggle with “letting go of the vine.” When you spend time, money, and resources growing a business – along with blood, sweat, and tears – it’s tough to hand any part of it over to someone else.
Many have “control freak” tendencies, believing that “only they can do it right.” As a result, you end up burning out or hitting a ceiling with the business. Here’s what can happen if you continue to hoard control:
And there’s another reason why we want to hold on – it’s because we don’t always know how to translate that stuff we know intuitively into tools we can use to train, monitor, and ultimately trust others to do right.
Learning how to take wisdom and turn it into processes, procedures, and training requires a new skill or implementing a new system. I believe this is why the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) is so popular with entrepreneurs today!
Delegating is the first step to gaining control without the “freak” part! It’s impossible to let go of the vine without having the right people in the right seats, so hire the best and delegate to grow.
Delegating is simply working in the areas that use our talents, feed our soul, create value for the organization, and empower others to run the show. In contrast, we should be working less on activities that we’re not great at or passionate about and that don’t create value.
Business owners and leaders should ask, “Do I value myself as an entrepreneur, working ON the business enough, serving others with my unique gifts? Or am I spending too much time IN the business, doing low-value, nonessential activities?”
The goal is to work more and more within your God-given talents (similar to “Core Genius”). It’s your “sweet spot” or “secret sauce” of strengths, experience, and personality. It’s your key differentiator and the thing that makes you particularly brilliant at what you do!!
Working with our talents gives us more energy and passion for our jobs, and everyone benefits: customers, vendors, employees, owners, managers, leaders – EVERYONE!
No one else in the entire universe has our unique mix of experiences, talents, and personality. So how can we discover it and create better work/life balance? Find a tool.
If you’ll do this exercise regularly – at least twice a year – you’ll start to migrate job activities that don’t bring you energy or use your talents out of your work responsibilities, adding more and more of your unique strengths over time. We can also coach our people to do the same thing! Follow the 3-step instructions below:
Identify all the working time you have available each week. Can you get your responsibilities done in the time you have set aside for work while having some balance as well? How many hours are realistic and sustainable? 40 hours/week? 50 hours/week?
If you can’t complete your responsibilities in that amount of time, then it becomes imperative to Delegate and Elevate – to reduce the load of activities that drain you and that you’re not good at.
Take 30 minutes to list everything you do then enter those items into the following 4 quadrants:
Reflect on the times when you’ve felt most empowered, when you’re most “on,” and when people have gained the greatest value from something you’ve said, done, or offered. These are probably activities in your LOVE/GREAT quadrant.
Over time, delegate the stuff in the bottom two quadrants and prioritize (elevate) the activities in the top two quadrants, moving closer and closer to your natural talents and abilities.
So, are you ready to do more of what fuels you and less of what drains you? Think Delegate and Elevate to your unique talents in everything you do! Hire the best!
And keep in mind what Andrew Carnegie said: “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”