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7 steps to learn to delegate

February 4, 2020

To move forward you need to give up some responsibilities and keep in mind that there is no single way to do things.

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

Delegating is as difficult for entrepreneurs, as telling the truth is for politicians. Why? First, by habit. We create business from scratch, we do everything, we develop a way of doing the things we believe in, and then we discover that habits are hard to break. No one will do things in exactly the same way as you.

7 steps to learn to delegate7 steps to learn to delegate

Jay Van Andel, co-founder of the giant Amway Corporation, impressed me several years ago with a speech called “Delegate or Pond.” Clearly, Amway's system is based on the multiplication of efforts: a person learning certain skills, who then replicates them again and again. And Jay and his partner, Rich DeVos, had a rapidly growing business. To stay ahead, they constantly delegated and replaced. What Jay made clear to me is that the only way to advance in any business is to continue delegating.

But there is more than one way to be right. Brendan Suhr, coach of the Detroit Pistons during his championship years in the 1980s, once told me: “Do you know how many coaches there are in the NBA? Well, at least there are that number of different times of being right, because each of them thinks differently. ” And his point is valid: You can't delegate if you think there is only one way to do things right.

Generally, good enough is enough. Let me give you an example. I had a business partner, a key person in my company, who had an obsession about how the boxes were packed. When we went to one-week seminars, instead of attending to a series of important responsibilities, he returned to the shipping department for hours to do the job of a packer. I must admit that his boxes were a work of art. They were packed very carefully, firm in the corners, without any bending. All labels were straight. However, since he left, my packers have sent hundreds of boxes. Not so well packed, but each and every one of them has reached its destination. The product was fine and the result was the same. Sometimes good enough is good.

Many things can be delegated to people who will not do it in the same way as you, probably not so perfectly, but in the end they will have the same result. Each and every one of those things must be delegated. In fact, you have to delegate. You cannot move forward without delegating some responsibilities and tasks to make room for new and more valuable ones.

Today, doing so is easier than ever. You can delegate to independent contractors, freelancers and vendors. Outsourcing is the key word of today. And it is for a good reason. Also, if you have people around you who are intelligent and talented, you must constantly give them new and exciting responsibilities, and have them in turn delegate.

To master the art of delegation, I share a seven-step process:

1. Define what needs to be done.
2. Make sure that the person to whom you delegate the task perfectly understands what he needs to do.
3. Explain why it needs to be done while asking for it to be done.
4. Teach how it should be done, without micro-administration.
5. Make sure the person understands the process of how to do it.
6. Set a date for completion or progress.
7. Make sure there is an agreement on the date or time and method of delivery.

Resisting the temptation to micro-manage will require willpower. One of the reasons why I left the offices of my business and started working from home whenever possible, is because when I went to the office I immersed myself to interfere and criticize, and put my nose everywhere, to the extent that it ruined The productivity of everyone else. Currently, I am almost never there. In fact, I spend practically all my time in my house, which is not even in the same city where most of my equipment is located.

This is not space science, although it does require patience. But investing time in doing better and getting people around you to respond to it is the only way to move forward and free yourself to do more valuable things for your company.

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