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52: The Art of Effective Delegation

See the show notes for this Episode here.

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Instead of just automatically giving my opinion, which of course I have, I say this simple phrase, what would you do? What would you do? I'm Annie, Christine, and this is where all things, creativity, design, business, and marketing unite. I'm a mama living in a tiny town, tucked right inside the Smokey Mountains, running a multi seven figure business, doing the most creative and impactful work of my life. When I first set out to become an entrepreneur, I was struggling to make ends meet and wrestling with how to accomplish my biggest dream of becoming a fabric designer. Fast forward to today, I'm not only licensing my artwork all over the world, but also teaching others how to design their creative life and experience the same success.

I'm here to help you spend your life doing something that lights you up. I'll help you build a creative business that also creates an impact, changes people's lives, gives you all of the freedom you want and is wildly profitable. Welcome to the Professional Creative Podcast. In the last episode, we talked about delegation. My focus was on what to delegate and what to start with, as well as giving you 50 ideas of different things that you could delegate. And so if you're just catching up, that was episode number 51. In this episode, I wanna focus on how to delegate, as you are probably used to doing everything by yourself and working through all of those pitfalls that we discussed in episode number 51. There's quite a lot to wrap your mind around how to delegate when you're ready to get started.

In doing so, it doesn't necessarily come very naturally to many of us, and so there are many, many lessons that I've learned in how to delegate. Still don't get it right all of the time, but it's a constant effort to do it better and better with the people who I have helped me on my team. And so almost everything that I'm gonna share with you today, I learned and have been implementing through three different books. So they are Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, extreme Ownership by Jocko Wilin, and Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. And so we'll link all three of those books over in the show notes for today's episode if you want to read into them some more. But there are many little things that we've implemented in my business when it comes to delegation that has really helped people feel ownership, feel proud of the work that they're doing, and keeps me from still being involved in so much of it. Because the biggest mistake that I see people make is they begin to delegate, but then they can't keep their hands out of it, right? So sometimes that's called like micromanaging or just really having a hard time releasing different tasks. And so we can do ourselves a whole bunch of favors in how we transition a task to someone else so that it can be done correctly and we can, you know, step away from actually implementing that task. So let's dive into the best ways to delegate tasks, and I'll try to reference these respective works as I go. Again, Brene Brown, Michael Hyatt, Jocko Bain is where I learned almost everything here. The first one comes from Brene, and it's a concept that is simply called clear is kind.

And so many times we are thinking, I wish that someone would've done something a little bit differently. Or maybe you transition a task or delegate something to someone else and you hope that they do it a certain way. Well, none of that is very helpful. We have to be really clear with how we want a specific task to be formed. And so clear is kind is something that we use throughout my business in a whole bunch of different scenarios, like if there's something unclear about a rule or a process or maybe there's a difficult conversation that we need to have in order to be clear, right? Clear is always kinder than being unclear and thinking things that maybe you should have said before. So being really clear about what it is that you're delegating and how it should be done. Which leads me to the second one also from Brene.

That is what does done look like? So if you're like me, after I learned this, I caught myself doing it so many times I would delegate a task and then kind of leave it open-ended. I wouldn't necessarily take it all the way to the end. I wouldn't give a deadline. I wouldn't give like a, this is exactly what I want it to look like when it comes back to me.

I would just kind of toss the task out there and hope that someone would pick it up and then wish they would've done it a little bit differently. So anytime you find yourself hoping or wishing, it's time to think about how could we be clearer and can I fully give them a full picture of what does done look like? And so everyone who works with me now, they use this language. We will always talk about being more clear with our instructions or what we're talking about. And then the team has permission all the time. Once I give a task to someone to say, okay, tell me what does done look like? Oh yeah, let me tell you exactly what done looks like and I'll, I even found myself this morning requesting something and I thought,

oh, I didn't tell them the urgency when I needed it. They may think I need it right away when in fact I don't need it until tomorrow. And so it's really kind to be clear so that someone doesn't drop everything that they're doing and do the thing that you asked right now because maybe it seems urgent. Go ahead and give them what does done look like?

Can I have this by the end of the day today or the end of the day tomorrow? That really does a favor to the people who are working for you to let them know. I love how Brene really emphasizes the importance of being clear about the expected outcome anytime that you delegate a task. This will really involve defining what done looks like. So the person taking on the task understands exactly the specific results that you expect.

And then to clarify what done looks like, you can be really explicit about the desired outcome and include any specific details, any standards that you might have, any expectations that you might have. Absolutely discuss the timeline and set clear deadlines on when you want it to be returned. And then also identify any necessary like milestones or checkpoints. Say like once you get to the halfway point, check in with me and give me an update. Or maybe they're going to research something and you'll say, maybe give me three things you've researched and recommend the one that you want to move forward with. Oftentimes, you could also provide an example or a template if it would help them better understand the outcome. I also just did this today. We're working on a new media kit and there are some media kits that I've seen that are beautiful.

And so I gave them samples of other things that I've seen that I love for them to use as in as inspiration, which is kind so that they don't have to necessarily reinvent the wheel. And then I think it's also always important to just encourage open communication and be available to answer their questions and be approachable so that they know they can come and get clarification anytime they need it.

Because by clearly defining what done looks like, you can truly reduce the ambiguity and the misunderstandings and the unclearness, which is going to lead to a more effective delegation relationship and so much better results. The other concept that I really love is called 10 80 10. So I mentioned this in episode 51. This, this concept is basically you get a project in motion.

So you do the first 10%, then you hand off the middle 80%, and then you come in and refine it and put your finishing touches on the last 10%. And that is just a way to free up so much of your time, but still feel like you had an integral role in the start of the project and the finishing touches, which is often kind of your unique sauce.

One of the biggest bottlenecks that I see creative entrepreneurs and small business owners experience is made by juggling multiple platforms trying to manage their online business. Can you relate from your website to your email list to your sales pages? It can be overwhelming and time consuming. And sometimes you have to wonder, are you a creative or do you just connect the backend of the entire internet and hope it works?

But it honestly, it doesn't have to be that way because I want to tell you about the platform I use called Kajabi. Kajabi is the all in one platform that I personally use to manage my membership, my online courses, my classes, my workshops, my sales pages, my opt-in pages, and honestly, even my actual website is hosted on Kajabi.

And let me tell you, it's a lifesaver to have everything under one roof. So my website, bonnie christine.com and the podcasts website, professional creative.com, are all entirely built out on Kajabi by me. I didn't have to hire a programmer or anyone else to come in because the designer is that easy to use. Kajabi honestly lets you say goodbye to the headaches of managing multiple platforms and connecting a million things.

And it's like having a personal assistant for your online business because it also has a super intuitive interface and easy to use tools that help you manage your courses or your memberships or your digital products. Kajabi's customer service team is also top-notch. They are always there, always happy to help, and they're always rolling out new updates and they're always there to help you succeed.

Trust me, I've put them to the test. So if you're ready to simplify your life and take your online business to the next level, head on over to aune christine.com/resources and sign up for Kajabi. Experience the free trial. I think you are going to love how it streamlines your business. Next, I wanna talk about ownership. And this concept really comes from Jocko will link in extreme ownership.

And that book is a really great book on leadership. It's basically how you can take extreme ownership for everything that you do, but we also kind of pulled this concept out and gave it to the team so that they feel complete ownership over the projects that they're working on. Now we're gonna talk about levels of delegation next. So it kind of depends on that kind of depends on what level you're delegating something, but it's our hope that we have people on the team who have complete ownership over the different tasks and projects that they're working on. Meaning, yes, they may come in and check with us, but they're owning the start, they're owning the process, they're owning, getting it figured out, and they're owning the results. And in turn, this really creates a beautiful work culture where we actually call it entrepreneurship, where people are really able to come and work as entrepreneurs in your own business, and they see right at the, at the tips of their fingertips, the value that they're adding, and they're proud of the projects that they've completed, and they get to work on them in their own way because they have their complete ownership of them. So anytime you can give complete ownership, the better. But what will happen, even when you give ownership, is that you'll be getting questions, well, how would you do this? Well, what would you like me to do in this scenario? Right? And if you ask me, I will always have an opinion because, right, we've been doing this by ourselves for so long. So I run my own business by myself for nearly 10 years, and then I start getting help. And of course, people have questions like, well, how would you do this specific thing? And right off the bat, I've got an answer. I know exactly how I would do that specific thing here, let me tell you. Right? And so something that I had to shift pretty early on that was a game changer was instead of just automatically giving my opinion, which of course I have, I say this simple phrase, what would you do? What would you do? So I use this all the time. I say, what would you do? And then when they give me their answer, as long as it's not incorrect, meaning even if it's not exactly how I would do it, but it's still a good way to do it, then I let them move forward. I say, perfect, go with that. Now, sometimes I don't even say, what would you do? I say, I defer to you, meaning I trust you to make the best decision. I'm gonna let you research this and I completely defer to you. So those two things I defer to you. And what would you do is a great way to just stop having to be involved in all of those little decisions because I don't think that either party actually recognizes that they're doing it.

The person who's helping you truly just wants to do it exactly how you would like them to. So they ask questions, why wouldn't they? But every time that you give your opinion, you're really training them to come back and ask more and more and more. And so how would you do it is a great way to a, to initially answer that and really get them to think and use their entrepreneurial skills and their research capability to try to decide on their own.

That leads me to something that I learned from Michael Hyatt, which is the levels of delegation. Michael proposes five levels of delegation, which really provides a framework for how much authority and decision making power you're granting the person that's taking on the task. And understanding these levels can help you delegate more effectively and truly tailor your approach based on the specific task and each individual.

So here they are. This is level one, do exactly what I've asked. At this level, you provide detail instructions, and the person follows them precisely without deviating in any way. So do exactly what I've asked in exactly the way I've told you to do it. That's level one. Level two is research and report back. So here you're asking the person to gather information and analyze it and then report back to you, and then you'll make the decision together. So that's level two research and report back. Level three is I want you to make a recommendation. You can ask the person to research this thing and develop possible solutions and then recommend a course of action. Dan Martel does something similar to this level three, and he calls it a 1 31. So someone will come to him with a question,

Dan Martel wrote the book, bye back your time. So we'll link that one as well. 1 31 is, tell me the one problem, give me three potential solutions that you've researched and then recommend the one that you would would go with, right? So a 1 31, and I love using that as well. Level four is make a decision and then let me know what you did.

So at this level, the person is really responsible for making the decision, but they must inform you about it. So you have to stay informed, but they didn't necessarily need to get your approval for it. So high level of trust here. And then level five is full autonomy. This person has complete authority to make decisions and take action without consulting or even informing you.

They have earned your trust and they have the necessary skills and experience to handle this task completely independently. So this is like the fullest level of trust. Someone else is doing something, you, you know that they're gonna do it well, you don't even need to know about it, right? So that's level 1, 2, 3, 4, and five. And the whole team, in my perspective, knows what each of these are. And so I can deliver that with the task. So here's a task we're gonna delegate. This is level three or level one or level five, right? And so it's a really helpful way, it kind of ties back to clear as kind like what level of ownership are you giving me over this specific task?

So we kind of mold these all together. You can see how they really weave in together, right? So here's a task. We're going to say it's level three. I want you to have a lot of ownership over it. Okay, well what does done look like, right? And so I explain what does done look like. Then they have a question in the middle of it.

They come to me and I say, well, what would you do? Can you give me a 1 31? So we use all of these and interchange them pretty heavily. And it has really meant that not only do I stay out of mingling, you know what I mean, it's kind of that micromanaging and mingling in the middle there. It really allows me to delegate and then completely step away.

And then it also allows the people who are helping working on the team, or even contractors and and people helping in my home really feel ownership over the things that they're doing. It makes them really proud of their work, and it honestly makes 'em have to really think and use their deciphering skills and their research capabilities. They're not just showing up and doing tasks.

They're really working and using every part of their, you know, every part of their working capability to come together and build a stronger team and a and a stronger impact. So those are the things that we do. As a recap, they are clear as kind. What does done look like? 10 80, 10 ownership, 1 31, what would you do? And levels of delegation.

So I hope that you'll be able to take episode number 51 and this episode and just begin getting some help in your business because you cannot do it all and you shouldn't have to. So start with help in your home or go straight to getting some help in your business. Start delegating some of the things that you don't actually have to be the one to hand off.

And then let me know what you do with the first hour that you have back. Okay? That's what I want you to let me know. You can DM me on Instagram, let me know with the first hour that you have back what you chose to do, because I know that your time is so precious. You're going to use it to either work on something incredible in your business that only you could do,

or you're gonna spend it with the most incredible people in your life who need you and love you. Until next time, friends, create the beauty that you want to see come alive in the world. And remember, there's room for you. We'll see you next time.


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I'm Bonnie Christine.


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