Mastering the Art of Delegation

Hey guys, Calvin Coyles here from Young and Wildly Successful. Thank you for joining me on this quick leadership video. And I want to talk to you today about delegation, about being able to get more done in less time with great people, and how most people are messing this up. The reason why most people hate delegation, the reason why most people suck at delegation and how you can use the three questions I’m going to give you on this video to be able to improve the quality of the results you get with your stuff and improve your level of confidence in the staff, the ability to get things done, and decrease your levels of stress of having to try and get rid of the things that are all on your plate to people that you don’t believe that are going to be able to make it happen.

So let me get first started by looking at what most people do and it’s surely not you, but it might be somebody that you know, maybe someone in your organization, maybe your own boss or your own manager. Maybe it is you, right? But let’s have a chat about it anyway. What most people do is this, they take the overwhelm of there business, they take all the blocks and challenges and stress and pressure. They build up, build up, build up, and they go, “I don’t want to do this part of the day so I’m going to give it to you.” And it’s not a gift like I want to give it. It’s an obligation. You take care of it.”

And they do what’s called a hospital pass. And if you’re familiar with that term where you pass the ball to somebody that’s about to get tackled. So you take something that you don’t know how to do oftentimes or you just don’t want to do and you chuck it at somebody else and you say do with an expectation, not a request. You don’t give them the skills, the tools, the knowledge, the insight, the support to be able to make it happen. You don’t even think they can make it happen, but you just want someone else to try and get off it.

And then when they mess up because you didn’t support them properly as a leader when you have to take full responsibility, when they mess up, you turn around and say, ” Don’t worry about it. I’ll do it.” And you get pissed at them. So it’s like, “Do something I don’t think you can do just so you can mess it up so I can take over it again so I feel significant and I’ll take care of it.” That might be the extreme of how you run your business at the moment. I really hope it’s not, but I know a lot of business owners that are doing that in around about sort of way.

They’re taking challenges that they don’t like, giving it to people they don’t think will be able to do the job or at least are not confident in their ability to execute at the same level as what they are. And so even if they give something to somebody that is competent, they don’t believe they can do it on the same level and so they self-sabotage it by saying it’s not good enough and they have to do it again and again and again.

I need you to understand first and foremost, done is better than perfect and don’t let perfect get in the way of better. But let me go in to delegation and leadership. I didn’t just come to tell you why you’re messing it up. I came to show you three simple questions you can ask your staff and have a dialogue with them and so they produce much better results, reduce your stress, and you get more done in less time. But before I do that, I like you to reconsider the word delegation because language plays such a big difference to us in our lives.

Consider the difference between you feeling like the world is ending around you, that you’re overwhelmed, you’re stressed out of your mind and saying that you’re busy. Consider that difference. How many times are we really just busy and we say, “I’m so stressed and I’m so overwhelmed. I’ve got so much to do on my plate. I’ve not got enough hours in a day.” This is the language you keep telling yourselves and this only breeds more stress into our lives, which means we lead less effectively because we have less cortisol and less oxytocin, sorry, more cortisol but less oxytocin and less serotonin in our blood stream.

There’s a whole another video on that but let’s just understand that you’re stripping yourself of the ability to make great decisions when you put yourself under great pressure. So instead of using the word delegation, let’s delete that from our vocabulary, instead what I want you to refer to it as empowerment and activation. So instead of, “I delegate something to you,” I want you to activate your staff and empower them with resources. Now what does it mean to activate someone?

It means that they have the potential to do it themselves and you want to click that switch. You want to turn the edge. You want to push them to the right direction, so they are activated. They’re going without you. They’re going to produce great results whether or not you’re there to support them, chaperon them, look over their shoulder or micro-manage them. They are there to produce great results because you’ve activated the inside of them, they drive to succeed. That’s number one.

And number two, instead of them just running around like a chicken with no head in the right direction, what you want them to do is be empowered with the skills, the tools, the resources, and the abilities to be able to do their work to the best of their ability and do the job you’ve asked them. Get it done to the very highest standards that your business grows. So I don’t want you to delegate from that one, I want you to activate and empower your staff.

Now how do we do that? It comes down to three things. To succeed in business, I’ve talked about this so often in my seminars, and if you’ve been been on to one of those, you have heard me say this before, you need three things. You need the right strategy, the right ability, and the right emotion, but we also need it from our staff. Because you can have the best strategy in the world as a business leader, as an entrepreneur, as an ideas person, but if you don’t have the ability to execute it, you’re wasting your time.

And if you have the right strategy and the right ability but you’re not motivated, will you do it? No. So if you have a great strategy and you know your staff have the right ability but they’re not motivated, they won’t do it. But if they’re motivated and they don’t have the ability but you’ve given them the strategy, they’re going to be frustrated and eventually they won’t motivate. So we need this holy trinity of strategy, emotion, and as well as ability.

Now here’s three questions you can ask. These are three critical questions that you can ask and I say not that you can, but you must ask to your staff when you’re giving them something to do that you want to get done to the highest level. Question number one, “Can you do it?” So I’m asking you, for example, let’s just say I’m asking you to put together a report for me to present to the board of directors, just a random example. The first question I want to ask after I explain the scope of why we’re doing what we’re doing, the first question I want to ask is, “Can you do it?”

Because it is important to understand, does the staff member have the ability to produce the result? If they don’t feel that they can get it done, at least they can have a dialogue with you about then and there and then you can help empower them more. But in order for them to be activated, they have to be able to do it. So first is, “Can you do it.” The second question is a great one to ask and that is, “Will it work?” So you might have this strategy where I want to put this board and paper together to win this contract from the board of directors or something like that or I want you to put together a marketing list so we can go right there and market and do your business.

And you as the business owner, as the executive, as the leader of the company, you have an idea of what would work, but sometimes your staff have a better idea of what would work because they are on the ground, they’re in the trenches. So if they can do it, but it’s not worth doing or it’s not going to work, then you can have a group of yes men or yes women that tell you about it, but you want people to critique you, you want people to say, “Hold on, we could do that.

I could put his board paper together for you but what’s going to work better is if I turn that board paper into a PowerPoint presentation,” or, “Instead of me doing a PowerPoint presentation, I actually record a short video for you, that would work better.” That’s what you really want to find out. Because it’s not just about them doing it the way you want it done, it’s someone else can do it better and quicker. So first and foremost, you ask them the simple questions is, “Can you do it?” and then you ask them the question, “Will it work?”

So will it work if we do this and we do this and we get this outcome? Because that’s what it’s really about, the outcome, the result. And then finally what’s really important to ask and this is the self-motivation part, this is the activation part that they do stuff without you, “Is it worth it?” It’s the final question. So, “Can you do it? Will it work?” and finally “Is it worth it?”

“Is it worth it?” is such a powerful question because you have to ask them the thing strategically as almost they are the business owner in the organization. “Is it worth it doing this? Is it worth it spending two weeks to put together this contract if it’s only worth $10,000 to us?” Well, the answer is probably no. But is it worth it if the contract is worth $1 million? Then absolutely yes. Now the staff member will have an understanding of that as well.

And if he or she is not able to answer that question, you need to get them to start think creatively about what’s their value in the organization? And so is it worth it? That’s about that in the business, but it’s also about, is it worth it to me? If I’m doing this job and you’ve asked me as the business owner, I’m the employee, and you ask me, “Calvin, can do this for me please? Can you do it? Will it work?” and finally, “Is it worth it?” and I said, “Look, let me just be honest with you, it’s not worth it.

It’s not worth me doing this as part of my day because my time could be spent doing so much other things that are better.” And understand this, if you have a real honest relationship with your staff and they tell you that, it’s not because they are lazy, they don’t want to do it. It’s because they are looking at what’s the biggest return on investment for you as the business owner.

If my time as a staff member for you was worth say, $500 an hour or $100 an hour and you’re asking me to send emails, could I not get somebody else to send those emails? Could we not outsource that to someone on oDesk or Elance for maybe $10 an hour instead of using my time that’s worth $100 an hour? There’s sometimes yes and sometimes no, but at least you’re having a dialogue. So first question is, “Can you do it?” Second question is, “Will it work?” Third question is, “Is it worth it? Is it worth it for me and is it worth it for you?”

If you answer those three questions, you’ve asked the client, and you’ve asked the staff members, sorry, “Do you have the right strategy? Do you have the right ability? And are you self-motivated to be able to make it happen?” And if you get that trinity jam-packed, they will succeed on their own. So that’s my little speech on delegation. But let me give you, I guess, a couple of key points that I’ve learned a long the way from running staff around of the world in multiple countries, having one stage, we had 120 staff working for one of my public companies back when I was 22 years old and learning how to delegate effectively.

Step number one, the most important thing is don’t delegate until you exactly know what the outcome or the result is. Because all of the time we don’t know what we need to do, we try to hand over stuff to people, and then we don’t really know what the outcome is. So get clear on the outcome or the result. Second thing is make sure you critically understand what you’re actually doing in the business before you delegate.

Because there’s no point delegating some things to only for you to spend your time doing things that are not productive or effective. You need to make sure you’re doing the things that you need to do as a business owner, the critical things, leadership, planning, development, sales, management, marketing, those sort of things. Delegate the unimportant things, only work on the essential things on your business.

Stepping the three might be something to be effective, really considering what’s the most effective person for me to delegate this to. Don’t just hand it over to whoever is convenient or available. Because if you give it to somebody that’s effective at the job, they can get it done at a fraction of the time as someone that was convenient to get it done. And number four, if I can give you a final point, it’s at the top of my head here, and I’d leave it with you, and that is, make sure you have the right people on the bus.

You want to have people that say, “Yes, I can do that. No, it’s not my job.” If you ever hear that, “No, it’s not my job,” fire that person. Because you know what? We’re all in this together in the trenches, we’re all in there to try and make the world a better place. We’re all out of time to do the business and we don’t want to have people in our team that say, “No, my box extends to this big. I can’t work outside this box.”

Well, fuck the box, Well, this is the bad is you’re looking at the fact that we’re building a company here. So if I need you to go run an errand, I need you to run an errand. If I need you to do this, do this. But at the same time, make sure you’re strategic of your timing and your image of yourself as well. That’s it for me today, guys. Hopefully that was added value to you.

Remember those three questions. “Can you do it? Is it worth it? And will it work?” That leads you in the right direction and a couple of points at the end there for you as well to hopefully help you make the right decisions, and when and how to delegate. Lots of love, live strong, live with passion, make today, guys, and everyday as you know, a life-changing adventure. And above all else, remember to live life on your terms. I’ll see you in another video.

Leave a Reply