Delegate to Prosperity

Delegating is almost as impossible for an entrepreneur as it is for a politician to answer a straight question. As for me I was a very late developer in applying the tool of delegating and, to be honest, I am still learning. Yet it is vitally important that you learn to delegate effectively for without question, the more you hold on to doing everything yourself, the less prosperous you will be.

From the age of 16, I always had 2 paying jobs until I started my own business, and then I had countless unpaid jobs. Brought up under the adage of: If you want a job doing properly, then do it yourself - I suckered myself into working every hour a day. I did everything. Even when I directly employed 25 people and indirectly many others in my property development company I would run errands. I would convince myself that it was an important errand that needed doing properly. And, when you think about it, what an absolute waste of my time and energy!

Many business owners will regretfully admit that they seem to be working for all their staff plus carrying all the responsibility. If you fall into this category then you must – and I really mean absolutely must – change your ways. This is what you must do…

You must, and this is hard, stop getting in your own way. When you get out of your way, you begin to see things differently and they very quickly become easier. When you have a hands-on attitude to everything, for example, you impede the progress and stifle the potential of your company. At the end of a really successful movie, the credits seem to go on forever. Using the analogy of making a movie, your role must be one of director – not producer, editor, camera, casting, make-up, stunt-driver, dolly-grip, gaffer, carpenter, and a thousand others all of which WANT and DESERVE credit, because their role – however small – was still important to you, as Director in making the film and to every movie-lover enjoying the film.

As a Director your role is know how you want your movie to appear AND you want it to be successful, profitable, reputable, and worthwhile. Now your role might well include being writer, director, producer and camera and in doing so you may choose to make just one movie every 10 years like James Cameron. Yet the credits on both Titanic and Avatar were still some of the longest ever as so many tasks were outsourced and delegated. You can be sure that Cameron did not do errands.

Delegating does not mean finding someone like you, to do your role. Artists, Celebrities, Musicians, Writers, Athletes, Film Directors cannot delegate their role either – as people want a piece of them, either their skill or fame.

It means finding someone that is much better at doing what you are not good at doing.
Like every good entrepreneur I have always outsourced. Not only is this essential for reducing the costs of an operation, it also brings in expertise relevant to the needs of your business.

A good business operates with GOOD: 1 – Professional Services including lawyers and accountants; 2 – Suppliers including Production, Distribution and Customer Service; 3 – All Mediums of Marketing Execution and Platforms of Technology Requirement.
I outsource all of these 3 aspects to proven partners that deliver on Rules of Engagement detailed by me and fully agreed by them.

I then delegate to my personal team of 3 the responsibility to ensure that the 3 key drivers of any business are monitored 100% and continuously improved: Quality, Marketing and Service – as these 3 elements are the sole reason why a good business will build and retain customers.
This allows me to fulfil my role of Director in the very best way that I can and one that fully utilizes my strengths – in my case: to create, write, consult, mentor and deliver the services that are important to me through my books and programs to my customers and clients.

What is vitally important is to:
• Establish Rules of Engagement with all outsourcing partners from the start.
• Explain fully, to whom you have chosen to delegate a responsibility, what you expect and take the time to teach them fully. Even with the right person this can take at least 6 months.
• Whatever you expect, you must regularly inspect – as ultimately it is your responsibility.

There is a saying that is usually attributed to both Carnegie and Getty: I would rather have 1% of 100 people’s efforts, than 100% of my own. The artist Damian Hurst became famous because of his talent. He became rich because he has successfully utilized the efforts of many, allowing him to focus on what he is good at. Richard Branson is perhaps the best entrepreneurial example of successfully leveraging and applying the efforts of others. In doing so it allows him to stay focused on what he is good at. Without his skill at delegation we would never have heard of The Virgin Brand.

The Turning Point for me was soon after I went Bankrupt in the 1991 recession. Having millions wiped off property values is a seriously sobering situation and I looked to involving myself in the hot opportunity at the time: Network Marketing, which operates under a formula that requires teaching and delegation. Within 12 months I had developed a network of 3,000 distributors and turned over £1m. (Most of this was used to clear debts that, to the chagrin of my family, I did not have to as all debts are written off when you are declared bankrupt, but I did so out of my own sense of honor and integrity).

I took the time to teach and explain what was required and within 2 years other key distributors were running the business. I vacated and left them to it – the ultimate delegation. This allowed me to start writing which I did in 1993 and have on average written a book a year (2 hours not watching TV a day can amount to over 18 Forty-Hour-Weeks of research and writing a year) and leave you with lots of time to build another business.

To Delegate effectively make sure you…

• Choose the person that you are going to delegate to, knowing why you have decided on them.

• Define exactly what it is you want doing.

• Explain why it is to be done, the best way you like it to be done and when you want it done by.

• Teach fully the person several times so that they are very sure and then check their results.

• Expect a regular update and irregularly inspect progress, execution and success or failure.

• Appraise, Praise and give a Raise as required. People perform best with responsibility and recognition.

• Beware of overly bossy people that want power without responsibility and credit-seekers that seek recognition that they do not deserve. You have to choose the right delegate worth teaching and delegating to.

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