"Adventures in Delegating - Episode 1" - Transcript
This is a series for business owners with employees, staff, a team. Delegating is the joy and pleasure of off-loading tasks so you, the MVP, The Most Valuable Player, can work ON the business, instead of working IN the business.
Here’s the "Adventures in Delegating” series line-up:
Oh those sweet, sweet days when it’s just you on a tractor, in the office… nobody to bother you and you are so incredibly efficient.
Small businesses start out real easy - it’s just you. You only have to manage - you. Over time, you finally reach your physical or time limits and you add a helper. A plumber, for instance, get busy and adds on a helper to grab tools, hold pipes, run for parts and the plumber gets more efficient. She uses her brain for thoughtful plumbing and delegates the menial tasks to a helper.
Great, right? Just you and your helper, then you land that big client and your graphic design business goes from you, the main idea person & artist, to you, and a graphic helper and an office person to answer phones and invoice. More repetitive tasks delegated, more done.
Then, things go sideways. After 3 employees, you can’t seem to grasp every single task or action each takes. You delegate, but then start chasing them around checking on them. Sometimes they don’t know what to do, so they just wait on you to tell them. Sometimes they do the wrong things. Sometimes you don’t know what they are doing - Argh!!!
This is the transition from ‘job owner’ to ‘business owner’, and not every business person makes it. The key difference is in the ability to successfully delegate tasks and responsibilities as the business grows in size and complexity.
Delegate is defined by Merriam-Webster as “A person acting for another”. Isn’t that what we actually want as a business owner? Someone to act as we would act, in our place, so we can be somewhere else, doing something else.
Delegation is “the act of empowering to act for another”. I like this definition even more. It contains the key ingredient: “We/You/I, the business owner, must take our power and bestow it on another individual so that individual can now act as we would act.”
The simplest version of this might be, “Let me show you how to prune a peach tree. Now prune a peach tree with me. Now prune a peach tree with me watching. Now prune peach trees without me watching.” That’s what we want: Someone else to be able to prune peach trees while we prune as well or while we do something else. Plain and simple.
How does this figure into the question, “Do you own a job or do you own a business?” You know people who own a job. Could be a tradesperson, dentist or a pizza shop owner, who, if they leave the business even for a day, the business closes down. The business is completely dependent on the owner to make every decision, unlock every door, and turn off every light at closing.
Business owners can leave for vacation and come back to find the business humming along. Business owners have staff to open the doors and turn off the lights. They choose what to work on in their business and delegate the rest to the team.
Why are their so many job owners vs. true business owners? Trust and upfront investment by the owner of time, training and money. Successful delegation requires trusting one’s staff to be well trained, to understand the goals of the organization, and to be given the power, the authority and the responsibility to complete the tasks that achieve the goals autonomously.
Next time in Part 2, we focus on "What to Delegate & How”.
Have a great week,
P.S. Here are a couple excuses for not delegating we hear ALL the time…
“In the time it will take me to train someone, I could just do it myself.”
“I’ll spend all this time training my manager, then they’ll just leave the business for another job.”
“I showed them how to do it, but they didn’t get it."
“Nobody wants to work anymore.”
P.P.S. We tackle the best way to take your operation to the next level in our NEW Agritourism Manager Boot Camp Accelerator program. Don’t wait for the next LIVE class, start making big changes RIGHT NOW