Once upon a time, I had a client who adopted what he calls “radical delegation”. Let’s call him Mike. Mike taught me a lot about radical delegation, and I think your business could benefit from it, too.
Mike decided to do an experiment where he delegates as much as possible could to other people.
When he first explained it to me, it sounded like he was a massive egotistical alpha male. I’m a little surprised cos I like him a lot, and I don’t usually get on so well with your massively egotistical alpha males. But I listened a bit more, and things became clearer.
Mike’s radical delegation plan
Mike planned to take everything he does that could be done by someone else and give it to other people in the organisation to free up some of his time. Mike wasthe MD of a fast-growing agency. He was the best salesperson, which accounted for why they were growing so fast.
When he came back from a new client meeting, he took a photo of his notes from the client and emailed it to the admin person, Emily. Emily wrote it up and put the details in the CRM. She’d then scheduled a time for Mike to go back to the lead and make sure they got the sale. He managed to get his business partner, Roger the Tech Director, to research a new client before the sales meeting.
You get the picture. This left Mike to concentrate on forming relationships with potential clients.
You need a team for radical delegation
Of course, this does mean that you have to have someone to delegate to. Mike has the luxury of Emily and Roger, who can help him. That’s not necessarily the case – you might not have those people around you, so you end up doing everything yourself.
Avoiding being a sponge and doing everything yourself is one of those things that make you a successful business owner.
How the Joy of Business team works
. Amanda, my virtual assistant, uploads my blogs to the website and make them look pretty. She also makes sure you get my weekly Joy of Business Stories, too. And she keeps the team organised, sends out invoices and does all the admin work that I don’t like to do. She also chats to my clients to get testimonials as well. Leaving me to concentrate on writing these blogs and the business coaching. Plus run all the courses and programmes over at Adventures in Products.
More about Mike and his radical delegation
Mike and I sat down that day and had a chat about two areas where I thought he could maybe improve on his idea of radical delegation.
1. Streamline tasks within the team
Emily was writing up his notes. I thought about my notes when I meet a new client and realised that no one else would be able to interpret my mindmaps of strengths and challenges and my odd abbreviations. ”Ltd sat TM” doesn’t necessarily jump out to anyone else to translate as “so far limited saturation of target market”, but it was in my notes from a client last week. Mike realised that he only needed Emily to file a photo of his notes in the CRM, saving her a headache and lots of time.
2. Use your zone of genius
I introduced him to the idea of the Zone of Genius. Mike was halfway there, but I thought it would be useful for him to go the whole way. Your Zone of Genius is the activities that you are genuinely good at and you love to do. The things that you would probably do anyway, even if you didn’t have to do them for work. Read more about the Zone of Genius here.
Drawing mindmaps of client strengths and challenges and writing these blogs are both in my zone of genius.
To work out your Zone of Genius, here’s a worksheet that will make it simple.
You don’t have to delegate everything
Thinking about this made Mike realise that meeting new clients and working out how he could help them with their problems and charge them money was in his Zone of Genius. But he also remembered that he was very good at and loved doing training to pass on his knowledge. He didn’t want to add this to his radical delegation.
Immediately after our meeting, he got Emily to work out where he should be doing more training. Roger overheard this conversation and mentioned a big organisation he’d got some training from.
And from this, Mike started doing training for this big organisation, which put him in front of lots of the kind of companies they liked to work for. And from this, their company grew even bigger.
Mike still does this training because he loves it. He doesn’t do it to find sales leads any more because Roger and Mike sold the company to a competitor for a shed-load of money a few years ago.
I’m not sure what happened to Emily, but I hope she lived happily ever after as well.
Other great business stories
Every week, I send out a story like this by email. They’re all based on true stories, tips and ideas from what I’ve been learning from clients and running my own business. Lots of great ideas you can apply to your own business.
And some more stories from the blog
Photo credits: Team by Ed Malet on Flickr