Episode 74: 3 Delegation Mistakes that Cost You TIME

Many CEOs think delegation is as simple as assigning a task to a team member.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

But when things don’t go well…

It makes you less likely to trust your team, and you end up taking things back.

You spend more time on non-CEO tasks; and it gets harder and harder for you to let go. 

And if you can’t let go, you aren’t actually delegating after all.

Remember, poor delegation affects your role as a CEO.

And limits your business’s potential.

On this week’s episode of The Elevate Effect™ podcast, I’m going to talk about the biggest delegation mistakes that leaders make. 

I’m sure you’ve struggled with these mistakes before.

And if you’re like most 6-figure CEOs, I bet you’re still struggling with them.

So here’s the episode where you learn how to overcome these delegation mistakes so you can meet your true CEO potential.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • 3 biggest delegation mistakes that leaders make
  • How these mistakes affect your CEO role
  • How to overcome these delegation mistakes

Alright. I'm back with episode number 74 of the Scale to 7 podcast. So glad to have you here. Thanks for tuning in. And I wanna talk to you today about some of the biggest mistakes that you're probably making with delegation. Many CEOs believe that delegation is as simple as just assigning a task to someone else. And that sounds great, right? Out of sight, out of mind, that sounds amazing. You delegate it, and then you get to go about doing what you want to do.

And that sounds amazing until things don't go well. Things blow up, and that leads to some struggles with trusting your team. It leads to micromanaging. It leads to you taking things back and actually holding on to things versus letting go, and ultimately, poor delegation leads to not delegating. And that means you're still spending your time, just countless hours doing things that you shouldn't be doing. The things that aren't at that CEO level, the things that aren't within the CEO level responsibilities that we talked about in the last episode. So if that's you, and you've struggled with delegation before. If you really hesitate to even want to hire a team or delegate to a team, pay attention.

Listen up. Today is for you. Now, let's get into these mistakes, because I know you you're making some of these mistakes. The first mistake is delegating low impact tasks. So you finally bring on a team, and you don't know which tasks to delegate first, you start to delegate, but you delegate the wrong things or you just delegate the wrong things first. And what does that actually mean? Which tasks should you delegate first? You should be focused on delegating the tasks that are gonna save you time, that are going to drive results, that are going to protect your energy, and that are gonna help you focus on your CEO level responsibilities. So what does all of that mean? Delegating high impact tasks means tasks that truly save you time. And not just a few minutes here or there, but boatloads of time.

So in fact, I might even say instead of the mistake being delegating low impact tasks, what you should really do is delegate high impact results or outcomes. I want you to shift from focusing on delegating just implementation powering your team to take on responsibility for results. And when you can empower your team to get results without dependence on you, that's when you're gonna see some real time freed up. You also need to focus on delegating things that protect your energy. Here's a couple of examples I've heard, things like customer support, like if you ever get complaints from people about, like, this little thing in the little digital product or something, if you have failed payments that happened, if, you know, you're just having a lot of back and forth customer support, then that's an area that you we wanna keep your brain away from because that's gonna drain your energy to hear that people aren't having the best experience or to handle all of those failed payments. Now, it doesn't mean we are keeping secrets from you, that we're keeping things from you. What we're saying here is protecting your energy so that you're not distracted. These are things that can be handled with clear systems and processes, and that you don't need to have on your mind.

Because when you hear of a failed payment or a client cancellation or something like that, then your brain gets completely shifted away, and your brain also goes into this mode of, either scarcity or just some other mindset concerns around whether you're even good enough to do what you're doing, and we need to protect your mindset, protect your energy. You also wanna delegate tasks that drive results. And what I mean by this is when you're working with a team, delegating the items that are going to lead to a positive ROI and not focus on just keeping people busy. So many CEOs come to me, and they say this just feels like so much work because I'm trying to find things to keep people busy. If you can align people with your vision and goals, give them that picture of where you're headed, then you can ask them for recommendations. You can ask them to figure out and take initiative to come up with what they need to focus on in order to get results, versus you having to figure out every little thing to hand over. So make sure you're delegating things that are gonna drive results, and not focus on just keeping people busy. And then focus on those higher level CEO responsibilities.

And so that means if there's something that's really pulling you away from that that you're focused on, you need to try to delegate it so you can shift your focus back. Mistake number 2 is failing to set your team up for success. This one's huge. This is what most entrepreneurs miss, because, as I said, you just want it out of sight, out of mind, and so you delegate it by just communicating pretty quickly in your own language and because you can see it so clearly in your mind because you're a visionary type, then you're communicating something that's so clear in your head, but you're not really communicating clearly. And your team it's confused, and they're really just not set up for success. So this starts with choosing the right team member to delegate something to, making sure that it's very aligned with their skill set, the level of ownership that you can entrust them with. Are they someone that can only handle the implementation, or can they handle management, strategy, or vision for that specific project or responsibility or result, then you want to make sure that you're taking the time, really investing time in training and teaching them. You can't just tell them what to do.

You really sometimes need to show them and verify that they can do it. You can't just assume that they'll figure it out. Yes, you can hire resourceful people who will figure things out, but you can't assume. You have to verify. So making sure that they have the right skills, the knowledge, or that they get up to speed and perform that well. So providing some of that accountability, right? And then give them the right resources, the right tools, like learning materials courses, SOPs, access, passwords, assets, whether it's, you know, if they need copy or graphics or something to do their job, if there's hardware or software, whatever it is, making sure that they have all of that. And then lastly, just clear expectations. Clear guidelines on when things need to be done, what the definition of done even looks like, because they might have a different interpretation, so try to make that all crystal clear and set your team up for success.

It takes a little more work upfront, but it saves so much time in redoing things when there are mistakes later. Mistake number 3 is over or under controlling the work. Right? So you delegate something, and then either you're over controlling or you're under controlling. What does that even mean? That means that you either micromanage or you abdicate responsibility. So you've got to figure out what does enough room, what does enough space autonomy, in other words, look like when you delegate this task. And that might be different for different types of people, for different roles, for different levels of responsibility, maybe even for a different length of time based on how long we've been with you and working with you. So the question is, can you truly let go? Do you need to let go of more and give them space? Or are you trying to let go too fast and abdicating responsibility, walking away, and leaving them in a sink or swim situation? Instead, we like to take a scaled approach, where you start in a more high touch scenario, and then scale that back over time, all the time, of course, following up and providing some level of accountability on their level of, like, their quality of work, and, for results through measurable key performance indicators or KPIs. So those are the 3 big mistakes we see people making when they delegate.

And those are, just to recap, delegating low impact tasks, failing to set up your team for success, in either over or under controlling the work, you've got to learn to let go and lead.

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