As a small business owner, you’re no stranger to the overwhelming workload of running your own show. Delegation is the key to breaking free from the day-to-day grind and propelling your business to new heights. Let’s explore the steps of effective delegation, S.M.A.R.T delegating, what tasks to delegate, and the Five Levels of Delegation.
Running a business is like conducting an orchestra. You can’t play all the instruments yourself. Delegation is the harmony that allows you to focus on strategic endeavors while empowering your team to handle the rest. It’s not just about passing the buck; it’s about systematic empowerment.
Delegation frees you up to focus on growing your business.
The Systemization-Delegation Duo
Systemizing your business lays the groundwork for effective delegation. It’s the process of creating a playbook, a roadmap for tasks. Once you’ve systemized a task, delegation becomes a breeze. Your team knows exactly what to do, and you gain the freedom to steer your business towards growth.
The Pitfalls of Abdication
Delegating isn’t about washing your hands of a task; it’s about controlled empowerment. Abdication, on the other hand, spells trouble. It’s like giving someone a map without any guidance. The result? A task completed, but not necessarily to the standard you envision. To avoid this, let’s delve into how to delegate effectively.
Problems arise when you hand off a task and remove yourself from the picture altogether.
SMART Delegation: Your Blueprint
When delegating, think SMART:
- Specific: Clearly define the task, leaving no room for ambiguity.
- Measurable: Set clear standards for success to ensure quality.
- Agreed: Ensure understanding and agreement on delegated tasks.
- Realistic: Assess resources, time frames, and skills for feasibility.
- Time-bound: Establish deadlines to keep tasks on track.
This framework ensures your team is aligned, tasks are accomplished to your standards, and progress is measurable.
The 6-Step Delegation System
- Identify tasks to delegate.
- Document the process step-by-step, with quality control standards.
- Specify expected outcomes clearly.
- Demonstrate the task or system operation.
- Supervise the initial task execution.
- Gradually allow autonomy but monitor progress.
If you want to grow and scale your business, you’ve got to get great at delegation. Until you do, your capacity is the lid to your growth.
The Five Levels of Delegation
Michael Hyatt’s Five Levels of Delegation offers a roadmap for controlled empowerment:
- Carry Out Instructions: Follow explicit directions.
- Research and Report: Gather information for discussion.
- Research and Recommend: Present options and make a recommendation.
- Decide and Inform: Make a decision and keep in the loop.
- Act Independently: Full trust and autonomy.
Download the cheat sheet here.
Sample Tasks to Delegate
Sample Tasks for Effective Delegation
- Email and Schedule Management: Handling email correspondence and organizing schedules.
- File Storage and Organization: Managing digital and physical file systems for better accessibility.
- Document and Form Creation: Drafting documents, forms, standard operating procedures and templates.
- Invoicing: Creating and sending invoices to clients.
- Customer Service: Addressing general inquiries via phone and email.
- Accounts Receivable: Following up on payments and managing receivables.
- Accounts Payable: Handling vendor invoices and payments.
- Recruitment Assistance: Initial screening of job applications and scheduling interviews.
Managing Clients/Account Management/Project Management:
- Working with Clients: Managing client communications and relationships.
- Delivery of Service/Product: Overseeing the delivery process of services or products.
- Quality Assurance: Monitoring and ensuring the quality of delivered services or products.
- Event Management: Coordinating and organizing business events.
- Converting Leads: Following up on leads and converting them into clients.
- Updating CRM: Keeping the Customer Relationship Management system up to date.
- Preparing Presentations/Pitches: Creating presentations or pitches for potential clients.
- Email Marketing: Managing email marketing campaigns.
- Social Media Management: Handling social media accounts and content posting.
- Managing PR: Coordinating public relations efforts.
- Offline Marketing: Overseeing traditional marketing efforts.
- Content Creation and Management: Developing and managing content for various platforms.
- Website Maintenance: Ensuring the website is up-to-date and functioning correctly.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Implementing and monitoring SEO strategies.
- Updating Software: Managing software updates and installations.
- Basic Graphic Design: Creating simple graphics for online and offline use.
This list covers many tasks that small business owners can delegate to team members, allowing them to focus on strategic activities and business growth. Adapt and customize based on the specific needs of your business.
Finding the Right People
Searching for the right people goes beyond mere skill matching to delegate effectively and empower your team. It’s about finding individuals who seamlessly integrate into your business culture and appreciate the importance of systems and processes. Here’s a closer look at what you should consider:
When assembling your team, prioritize cultural alignment. Seek individuals who resonate with your business culture and values. A cohesive team culture ensures that everyone works coherently towards common goals. Look for those who appreciate the significance of streamlined systems and processes, as this mindset aligns with the delegation strategy.
Attention to Detail and Initiative
Effective delegation relies on team members who pay attention to detail and can go beyond prescribed instructions. Look for individuals who can follow instructions meticulously while possessing the creativity to take initiative when needed. This blend of attention to detail and proactive problem-solving is crucial for seamless delegation.
Appreciation for Systems
In a well-delegated environment, having team members who appreciate systems is a game-changer. They understand the value of documented processes and contribute to refining and improving existing systems. This mindset ensures that delegation doesn’t just happen, but it happens with a commitment to efficiency and continuous improvement.
Reference: The Role of People in a Systemised Business
Be a Good Leader
Creating Operating Guidelines becomes instrumental as a leader focused on effective delegation and team empowerment. These guidelines go beyond task-specific instructions, covering decision-making, values, and the overall business culture. Here’s why these guidelines are essential:
Operating Guidelines serve as a decision-making framework for your team. Not all tasks or procedures can be exhaustively documented; these guidelines act as a compass. They outline the principles and criteria for making decisions aligned with the business’s best interests, providing a clear path for your team to follow.
Values and Culture
Delegating isn’t just about tasks; it’s about instilling your values into the fabric of your team. Operating Guidelines encompass what tasks to delegate and how to behave as part of the business culture. This ensures your team operates with shared core values, creating a harmonious and productive work environment.
Adaptability to Unforeseen Scenarios
In business, not every situation can be predicted or documented. Operating Guidelines empower your team to navigate unforeseen challenges by providing a set of principles for creative problem-solving. This flexibility is essential for adapting to new scenarios while staying true to the business’s overarching goals.
Effective delegation involves striking a balance between guidance and autonomy. Operating Guidelines foster a culture of independence, allowing your team to make decisions confidently within the defined parameters. This saves time and nurtures a sense of responsibility and accountability among team members.
In essence, being a good leader in delegation means providing your team with comprehensive guidelines that cover decision-making, values, and business culture. It’s about empowering your team to navigate the intricacies of delegation with clarity and confidence.
Effective delegation is the keystone of business growth. When systems and delegation align, your business becomes a well-oiled machine. It takes effort, but the payoff is undeniable. Ready to experience the leverage of streamlined operations? Let’s delegate for success, achieving a business that runs seamlessly, even without you.