As business owners, our most precious resource is our time and how we use it. While we all have 168 hours every week, we can only put a very minimal amount of that towards the important pieces in our business. Your 30-60 available hours can’t really change too much without impacting your family, health, and general wellbeing. So, how do we maximize this valuable resource? The only way to move forward is through delegation and efficiency gains. Efficiency gains happen through the building and re-building of systems, tools, and processes to allow our work to move more smoothly. Delegation, on the other hand, is a product of our choices and our willingness to empower others to take things off of our plates. It is about the why rather than the how.
So, why don’t we delegate more often?
I say more because we all delegate to varying degrees. At its most basic level, we delegate things like dental work to a trained professional, even though we could theoretically take the time to read the proper materials and watch a few YouTube videos to do a reasonable job of managing our own dental hygiene. You can even order the dental tools directly from Amazon and begin cleaning your own tartar or doing a tooth extraction in two days! But, we all choose to delegate it because it is very costly in both time and materials to do a job that is likely inferior to that of our skilled dentist. We also do it because we RESPECT and TRUST our dentist to do the job correctly.
If I told you that there was a landscaping company who would show up exactly when they promised each week, treat your yard as if it were their own, and would respond to your calls and emails on the same day, would you want to hire that company? How much would you pay for that service? How much is having a gorgeous yard and the hours it would take for you to do it yourself spent with your family instead really worth to you? Probably a lot. The problem is, we tend not to know who those companies are or how to find them. So based on our previous experience, what we do is write the whole idea off because of a lack of TRUST and RESPECT for all landscaping companies.
So thinking back to our businesses, in which areas have we written off the idea of delegating? Is it because in the past we had delegated a task to a specific person and it turned out badly? Did we hire the wrong person for a position, let them go, and now we don’t want to try again? Do we not have the right people in the organization? Did the last firm you outsourced a project to do a shoddy job? Each of these experiences has reinforced that we either do not trust that it will be successful, or that we do not respect who we are delegating to.
If we can’t solve the trust and respect problems at the heart of delegation, we are destined for stagnation. Knowing the issue at its core allows us to solve it and actually move forward. So ask yourself, what am I currently doing in my business that is not the highest and best use of my time? Then ask yourself, why is this still on my plate? As you dig deeper on that question, you might find that you either don’t trust that it will be successful or that the person or team you are looking to delegate to doesn't have your respect. Solve these issues by seeking new systems, processes, or people that you both trust and respect. Get more of the most important thing to move your company forward, your time.
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