Entrepreneurial Talent – Delegator

Delegator.  Wow do I struggle with this one!  Delegator is probably my weakest entrepreneurial talent.  I’m not sure that it’s so much a trust or control issue for me as it is that I’m a bit of a perfectionist…  On second thought… They’re probably right, and I suffer from all three.  Let’s see how you stack up.

Delegator is one of the TEN entrepreneurial talents that Gallup says must be present for a business to grow and be sustained over the long term.

As a reminder here’s the full list.

Here’s How Gallup Defines the Delegator Talent

Delegator.  People who are especially talented in the Delegator talent can trust and empower others to help grow their business.  They know what their employees do best and position them to take responsibility for tasks at which they are likely to excel.  They can relinquish control and focus on growing the business.

I learned the hard way that if an entrepreneur, or any leader for that matter, can not delegate effectively, he will stunt the growth of the organization and find himself in a state of burn-out in very short order.  The fact is, you (I) just can’t do everything.  There are so many talented people out there, add them to your team and set them free to do their magic.

The Power

Delegators are experts at setting expectations.  They are clear about the elements that are critical to success.  Elements like timing, budget and deliverables are defined and communicated.  Delegators are great at making sure that their employees have the tools they need to achieve success.  they provide the training necessary and they genuinely care about the personal and professional growth of those on their team.

Are You a Delegator?

  • Do you easily delegate authority and responsibility?
  • Do you find yourself actively and proactively collaborating with others?
  • Do you take the time to learn, recognize and reward people for their strengths?
  • Are you willing to hand off authority to someone who has strengths in certain areas?
  • Do you value working on, instead of in your business?
  • Are you interested in helping team members become effective contributors?

Ask yourself

  • How would you describe your abilities as a Delegator?
  • Do you know any others who you’d consider great Delegators?
  • How does the Delegator in you show up?

Personal Application

[guestpost]As I mentioned earlier, I really struggle with this delegator talent.  I do truly appreciate others for their skills and abilities but handing over the reigns is a challenge.

My thoughts (incorrect thoughts) immediately go to things like:

  • “I really don’t have the time to train someone properly.”
  • “They’ll never be able to perform to my high standard.”
  • “They have plenty to do and I have 24 hours in my day, I’ll just do it myself.”

Those thoughts lead to actions and the actions took up all of my time.  My lack of Delegator talent kept me in the office, or in the warehouse instead of in the field looking for and talking to new clients.  Funny, the old saying about “hindsight being 20-20” is so true!  And in retrospect, this issue probably did more damage to my business(s) than anything else.

Delegator (2)

In my last post I talked about some creative things I did to set my electronics recycling business apart.  Those things really made a huge impact on the growth of the company.  Imagine what we could have achieved if I had just gotten out of the way and let my talented team do their thing.

As an entrepreneur, your primary task is creating revenue.  Darren Hardy really hits this point in his amazing book “The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster“.  If I was better at Delegating the tasks necessary to operationalize these new and revolutionary, business changing ideas and gone out there to bring in more customers, I can only imagine where things could have gone.

Great ideas, great products and great services are worthless with out a steady stream of new customers, clients, patients… to put them to use.  Nothing happens in business until a sale is made.  Ensuring that a sale happens is the primary responsibility of the entrepreneur, the business owner.  But that only happens when Delegation takes place.  You (I) just can’t do it all.[/guestpost]

Low on Delegator Talent?

  • Tough!  You have to learn to do it anyway, or suffer the consequences.  This is not an option.  There’s no way around it.  You are bound by the number of hours in a day and your own personal energy.  There’s nothing worse than a controlling, exhausted, burned-out, non-Delegator boss.  I know that from experience.
  • Take baby steps.  Practice Delegating small things.  No, seriously… Delegate a few small things.  Seriously!  You have to start!
  • Look into using a Virtual Assistant.  Chris Ducker wrote an awesome book called “Virtual Freedom“.  Click that link and listen to my short synopsis of the book, then order it from Amazon and do EXACTLY what Chris says.  You will be glad you did.  And so will your accountant!

To Do’s for the Non Delegator:

  • Take a very close look at your TRUE priorities.
  • Write down your businesses TOP 20 priorities… do the first 2 things on the list.
  • Delegate the other 18 things on the list
  • Get a Virtual Assistant
  • Get some rest!  Be happier!  Appreciate your TEAM more!

Next up… Determination

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