Tag Archives: Prioritizing & Scheduling

What I learned about delegating work and gaining time

Editor’s Note: It’s my pleasure to introduce Andy Goldberg as a contributor to the Beyond Startup blog. I’m excited to share his unique approach to entrepreneurial law, as well as his own insights as a fellow entrepreneur. Enjoy!

More Time, Just AheadWhat did you learn about yourself and your business in 2014? For me, in 2014, my first year of entrepreneurship, I learned a lot about delegation do’s and don’ts.

In developing this skill, I had to overcome a natural barrier to delegating. Like many entrepreneurs I did not think delegating was important. If I had even a few extra minutes in a day to get the job done, there was no reason to delegate. Other self-imposed roadblocks included:

  •  I always felt I could do the work better than others; and
  •  It would take me less time to do the work than teach somebody to do it (or maybe I just lacked confidence in my assistant).

However, I quickly changed. For me, I had to delegate to free up my mental energy to focus on tasks truly important to making my practice grow. My mind was full of so many menial tasks to be done, I could not even prioritize;  I had paralysis in starting and doing anything. Other reasons why I now delegate include:

  • I want my assistant to learn new skills (a crucial factor in job satisfaction);
  • It’s a repetitive task I don’t want to keep doing;
  • I can take time to look at the big picture of my practice; and
  • I can focus on only those areas where I add the most value to my business.

Techniques I Learned To Delegate More Effectively 

Along the way, I discovered a few ways to delegate more effectively. First, I stopped telling my assistant how to do the task (which simply resulted in her parroting my actions).  Now, I share past experiences and discuss what has worked and what hasn’t’ and then allow my assistant to accomplish the task how she best sees fit.  It’s the result that matters, not how you get there.

I learned asking someone to do something is much different than telling them what the result should be. Now, I give a clear example of what a good result would look like. For instance, preparing a document with specific information or an action plan, speaking with a client to gain certain information, or putting together specific information in a certain format.

For bigger projects, I break it down into smaller tasks. We agree on specific checkpoints to make sure we stay on track.

I make sure I’m available to give feedback or alter the course.  Assigning a task and walking away in is not delegating, it’s abdicating.

However, there are tasks that I still don’t delegate. These include:

  • Tasks that need immediate attention; and
  • Tasks crucial to the long-term success of my practice.

2015 Goals

I hope you can start 2015 by delegating small, easy tasks. Then, as you can get more comfortable, delegate more complex tasks. Your goal should be to make sure you are only doing that which is most valuable to your business and leads its growth. I hope these ideas make 2015 your best year yet.

Have you Given Yourself a Career Wellness Checkup?

Editors note: What are the keys to achievement? What is the secret that makes some leaders a great success? Often, it’s as simple as being focused on the big picture – at work, and in life. These questions posed by fellow coach, Robert Pasick, are a great starting point for checking in on your current alignment with your long-term goals.730

Recently, I have been doing Career Wellness Checkups with my current and former clients. I have found that, just as we have a yearly checkup with our doctors to try to detect health issues that may be arising or have been overlooked, we can benefit by giving ourselves a yearly career review. This is different than a performance review where we are limited to feedback from our supervisor on how we are performing on our job. Here are some of the questions that I have been asking them to consider. I would suggest answering these questions and then reviewing them with a friend or advisor. Of course, I would be happy to consult with you, if you wish.

  • Are you earning as much money as you think you deserve?
  • Are you feeling fully engaged in your work?
  • Are you working at a level where you feel like you are reaching your full potential?
  • Are you achieving as much as you want to achieve?
  • Are you working with the type of people you respect and enjoy?
  • Are you passionate about the work you are doing?
  • Are you utilizing your unique talents much of the time?
  • Are you working in a career which embodies your values?
  • Are you working for a company and a supervisor whom you respect?
  • Is your level of stress reasonable or excessive?
  • Do you have a stretch goal that would enable you to move to the next level in your career?

I am working on putting together a Career Wellness Workshop for the beginning of August, if you would be interested in attending, or if you have other questions which should be included in the Career Wellness Checkup.

[box type=”download”] If you like plans and worksheets, check out the Personal Plan document from the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for a tool to help you capture your own long term goals. The Personal Plan follows the same framework as the business planning document (the Vision/Traction Organizer) offered by EOS. To download a free copy of the Personal Plan, scroll to the bottom of the downloads list and look for the heading “Additional Tools” to find the personal plan document.[/box]

Solving Issues: The Magic of Simply DECIDING

The Magic of Simply Deciding

Last week I had the pleasure of moderating a quarterly planning session for a team that discovered the magic of solving issues by simply “deciding”. It was so transformational for them, it struck me that this simple “tool” is something worth singling out to share with other teams looking to gain traction.

We ran the meeting much like the quarterly planning sessions they were already comfortable with, with one notable exception. We added in the “Identify, Discuss, Solve” or IDS process from the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

While the IDS process may not sound like rocket science on the surface, it’s a truly transformational tool. Why? To start with, many issues aren’t dealt with until they get to be a big deal, leaving them with an undeserved negative connotation. An issue is just an issue, as reiterated by Mike Payton in the EOS blog last week. When an issue is identified and tackled early on, before it grows or is rehashed ad nauseum, it simply gets solved and everyone keeps moving forward.

So how does the IDS process work? As part of the quarterly meeting agenda, we listed out every issue anyone could think of, picked the top three priorities and started solving them one by one. It was fun to watch the excitement build as issues which could have been time-consuming to handle were whittled down to the core issue and decided on right then and there. Shoulders grew lighter. Projects were collectively declared “good enough”, giving permission to be done and celebrate the accomplishment. Confidence grew with each issue solved, and the team left the session with every high priority issue solved, clearing the decks to focus on company rocks and rocking out great projects for customers.

With just a couple of hours of practice, this team experienced the power of IDSing issues and left excited to continue the process during routine meetings in the future.

What’s your experience with the magic of deciding?