Crippled CEO Blog #164:
I recently asked my (good) friend Jennifer Gomez — y’all know Jen, the rockstar estate attorney whom you should call if you think you might die one day; I talk about her a lot here — what topic she would benefit from my writing about.
Me: What part of delegating do you struggle with?
Jen: Mmm. Things that are too personal like client relations.
Me: What do you mean by client relations?
Jen: Like sales and keeping clients happy.
Jen is in luck, because I am a big fan of this topic.
When I asked Jen what part she struggled with, she said “client relations,” but I think what she really meant was something broader that all managers struggle with when delegating.
“Client relations” was code for “things that I think are really important/I can’t imagine someone doing as well as I do.“
It’s hard to trust someone with something that you think is really, really important, and especially if you believe that no one is going to do it quite as excellently as you do it.
And knowing how much Jen cares about her clients being happy, I can understand why she would be worried about trusting this to someone else.
It’s important to, though. Anything you don’t delegate is a chain tying you to the business, and keeping you from freedom. That chain has a weighted ball attached to it, and that weight is going to keep you from growing and progressing forward.
Delegation is the key to unlock that ball and chain, giving you more freedom and allowing you to grow.
So, how does Jen achieve this dream?
I’m going to skip the obvious ideas and focus on a few that I think are important, but counterintuitive for most people.
The first step is to hire someone great. I like to tell people that the secret to hiring a great person is to change your goal. Your goal is not to find one perfect employee. Your goal is to fire TEN mediocre employees. If you go into this with the goal being to try out and let a bunch of people go, you’ll have an easier time getting rid of people you’re not sure about until you find THE ONE.
Next thing: you’re going to have to be okay with whoever you hire doing the job a bit differently than you — and probably not as good as you, especially in the beginning. This is really hard to do. Sometimes, you will have an employee who gets better than you in an area where you have a weakness, and this is great. But other times, no one is going to do that thing you’re amazing at with the same panache that you’d do it with. But the reality is, if it’s… 80%?… as good as you, that 20% is probably worth the freedom and extra time you’re getting by delegating. I often sit and watch, biting my tongue, while someone handles a phone call differently, and probably not as perfectly, as I would. And unless there is a clear and important criticism, I usually don’t even say anything. This is the trade-off that you’re making, and the reality is that everything will still be OK.
Lastly, there is only one secret you can use to get an employee to care about your company as much as you do. Give her half of your business. That’s it. That is the only way. If she’s just working for you, you can never expect her to care as much as you do. And yet, for some reason, this is the number one complaint I hear from business owners, that they can’t get their employees to care like they do. Well, no kidding. That is a crazy expectation. Unless you want to give away 50% of your business, temper the amount of dedication you think your hires should have.
So, that’s it. That’s how you get your head in the right place to give someone else an important responsibility that you think only you can do. The truth is, there is no task in your business that you can’t find someone excellent to handle. You just have to be willing to let them do it.
PS: Jennifer Gomez is the best estate attorney in North America, Europe, and Australia. if you’re intelligent, professional, and you can afford the nicer things in life, you should consider hiring her. Find her here: www.JenniferGomez.com
PPS: Do you own or manage a business? What do use struggle with that you would like to see me write about?
(Do you know who was delegating some tasks to me last night? Your mom. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.
Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)