Delegate Effectively—The Entrepreneur’s Secret Weapon
The truism “there are only so many hours in a day” probably hits entrepreneurs the hardest. For people who live and die by the hustle, time is without a doubt the most finite resource. So, what do you do when you find yourself constantly running out of time? You delegate, that’s what.
Delegation is the secret weapon of any successful entrepreneur. Effective delegation means leaving the mind-numbing, albeit necessary, day-to-day tasks to people who can handle them without a hitch. This gives you more time to focus on important things—like actually running your business.
Now, we can bombard you with real-life scenarios where delegation has proven to be an enormous time-saver, but you don’t need more convincing, right? It’s pretty obvious why you should delegate. What you need to know is how to delegate effectively.
Before we get to the nitty-gritty of how to delegate effectively, let’s first take a look at the kinds of tasks that can be delegated. By clearly defining these tasks, you will have a better understanding of which should be assigned to whom.
Here are the different types of tasks based on urgency and difficulty:
Easy: These tasks are easy and can be done in a short time period. However, it’s worth noting that they definitely add up over time.
Tedious: These types of tasks are, by definition, mind-numbing and require little skill or effort. They are perfect for delegation.
Timesink: Tasks that eat up a lot of your time can be broken down into smaller portions and delegated to people who you trust can handle them.
Teachable: A task that you can teach someone else to do should be delegated. Be careful not to spend too much time teaching someone, however, as that will defeat the purpose of effective delegation.
Out of Your Zone: Simply put, if you aren’t good at something, find someone who is and get them to do it. If you want to learn a new skill, that’s perfectly fine. But if it’s going to take time away from pressing matters, then you should probably delegate instead.
Time-Sensitive: If a task’s deadline is looming and you have other pressing things to do, you will definitely need help. That’s where delegation comes in.
Now, let’s move on to the actual meat of this article. Today, we’re going to teach you how to delegate effectively.
1. Delegate to the right person
Each member of your team has their own strengths, weaknesses, and a specific skillset that they have built over the years. By understanding what they are good (and bad) at, you’ll be able to mix and match the right people for the right jobs. To illustrate our point, you wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your taxes, so don’t assign a social media marketing campaign to someone who has never used Facebook or Instagram.
Pro Tip: Meet with your team and let them choose from a list of tasks that you are looking to delegate. That way, you can also determine what they are interested in for future reference.
2. Make sure your instructions are clear and detailed
While it’s important to convey what needs doing, it’s also helpful for your team member to know how things should be done. For instance, instead of just saying “post on social media” go into more detail about the type of content to post and where and when to post it.
Pro Tip: Effective delegation is geared more towards results rather than methods. Trust your team members to handle the work their own way. They might surprise you with a solution or approach that you didn’t realize was so effective.
3. Provide the appropriate tools and resource
Having the right tools, resources, and skills to take on a task is crucial. You wouldn’t want to go to war without a weapon, right? Okay, that analogy is a bit extreme, but you get the point.
Pro Tip: Remember how we talked about teachable tasks earlier? This is where that comes in. When delegating, don’t just teach someone how to do something. It’s better if you also provide whatever is needed to make sure the task is done correctly and efficiently.
4. Delegate responsibility as well as authority
Responsibility and authority are the heart and soul of delegation. Before you even delegate a task, you are first and foremost responsible for getting it done. Secondly, only a person with the authority to delegate a task—such as a manager or an executive—can do so.
When you delegate, part of the responsibility is passed onto the person you are delegating the task to. That person must be empowered enough to make decisions that are vital to completing the task. To do so, they must be granted a certain level of authority.
Pro Tip: If you cultivate a culture that values accountability and proactivity, it will be much easier for your team members to feel empowered enough to make decisions without having to wait for their superiors’ go-ahead.
5. Provide feedback after checking the output
Once a delegated task is completed, it is your responsibility to check it and make sure it was done correctly. You should also provide constructive feedback to make sure the process is improved moving forward.
Pro Tip: When giving feedback to your team members—whether positive or negative—it’s important to be fair, specific, and timely. Reinforce the good things they did and get to the root of any mistakes in order to avoid them in the future.
If you’re ready to let go and start delegating, then you need to have a team of smart, capable people by your side. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of cherry-picking talent, especially if you are just starting out and your budget isn’t as big as you’d like it to be. But don’t worry, TopVA is here to help!
We have a comprehensive selection of services that cover pretty much anything and everything you need to scale your business. With the help of our Virtual Assistants, you’ll be headed straight to the top in no time!
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