Unlock Your Genius, Dare to Delegate!

backpacker resting on an outcropping, illustrates the power of delegatingDo you find yourself saying any of the following?

  • If you want it done right, you just have to do it yourself!
  • It’s so hard to find good help these days!
  • This project is just too important to delegate!
  • By the time I teach someone, I could just do it myself!

If any of these statements sounds familiar, it’s time to dare to delegate. Chances are, you’re spending too much time at work focusing on things that drain you.

Control Issues

Over the years of working with entrepreneurs, I’ve learned that many struggle with “letting go of the vine.” When they spend time, money and resources – along with blood, sweat and tears – growing a business, 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, entrepreneurs end up burning out or hitting a ceiling with the business. Here’s what can happen if we continue to hoard control:

  • We cannot attract or retain strong executives – which puts more pressure on us to produce more work as the business grows.
  • We limit our business’ ability to scale and we devalue its worth in the marketplace, since it’s too dependent on one leader.
  • We inadvertently demean our people by limiting their ability to take action, execute, create, and show us what they’re capable of.

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!

Let Go to Grow

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?”

Discover Your Unique Ability

The goal is to work more and more in our Unique Ability (similar to “Core Genius”). It’s our “sweet spot” – or our “secret sauce” of strengths, experience and personality. It’s our key differentiator and the thing that makes us particularly brilliant at what we do!!

Working in our unique ability 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. 

Delegate and Elevate

As an EOS Implementer, one of my favorite tools is Delegate and Elevate™ tool

If we do this exercise regularly – at least twice a year – we’ll start to migrate job activities that don’t bring us energy/use our talents out of our work responsibilities, adding more and more unique ability over time. We can also coach our people to do the same thing! Follow the 3-step instructions below:

1. Consider your role or job responsibilities

Can you get these responsibilities done in the time you have to work each week, with 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 you’re not good at.

2.  List your work activities

Take 30 minutes to list all your job responsibilities into the following 4 quadrants:

  1. LOVE the activity/GREAT at it (Core Genius possibilities here)
  2. LIKE the activity/GOOD at it
  3. DON’T LIKE/GOOD at it (95% of world is stuck in this kind of job)
  4. DON’T LIKE/NOT GOOD at it (Delegate or else!)

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.

3.  Delegate and Elevate

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 unique ability!

  • To really make this work, choose up to three tasks that are in your top two quadrants. Select activities that you’re brilliant at, produce the greatest level of satisfaction, and generate the most income for your company. Bring some of these insights into your job description or integrate them into your “seat” on the Accountability Chart. Make that a priority for the next quarter.
  • Finally select 1, 2 or 3 tasks that you can delegate in the next 90 days. Create a plan to chip away at low-payoff, nonessential tasks until you are doing less and less of those and more and more of what you are really great at and love to do!
  • TIP: Pick up a copy of The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey, by Kenneth Blanchard, William Onchken Jr. and Hall Burrows, for a great delegation roadmap once you’ve done the discovery exercise above.

So, are you ready to do more of what fuels you and less of what drains you? Think Delegate and Elevate to unique ability in everything you do! Hire the best! And keep in mind what Andrew Carnegie said: “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all herself or get all the credit!”

Next Steps

This article originally appeared on the b-better blog.

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