109. Delegate This, Not That

Friday, September 22, 2023

Smooth Operator/109. Delegate This, Not That

109. Delegate This, Not That


Delegation and Offloading are critical to growing your business and being able to give yourself the time and space to think strategically about the future.

And yet so many of us approach offloading with a completely wrong mindset that not only holds us back, but prevents us from attracting the A-players we want to bring onto our team.

On today’s episode I’m going to flip everything you’ve ever heard about delegating upside down and give you some direction to make this incredibly successful for you, your team, the company, and the team member you ultimately delegate to.

Learn more at https://www.adamliette.com

Discover how to work with me: https://www.adamliette.com/work-with-me

The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime

20 Business Owners Lives' Will Change in 2024

​​... And I'm Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!

The Greatest Opportunity Of A Lifetime...

20 Business Owners Lives Will Change In 2024...
​...And I’m Personally Inviting You To Be One Of Them!


Adam Liette
This is the smooth operator Podcast. I'm Adam Liette, director of operations for a seven figure online business and eight year veteran of Army Special Operations. On this show begin with the tactical, nitty gritty of what it really takes to run a thriving online business. Because at the end of the day, operators lead the way. Yo, what's going on smooth operators welcome to today's show, recording late at night this time, because I'm trying to balance a lot of stuff, man, it's like one of those times a year where the work keeps coming. So good problems to have one of my favorite sayings. That being said, it means sometimes you got to burn little midnight oil. But that's really a perfect segue into what I want to talk about tonight, which is delegate this not that. So, you know, in my travels, in my conversations, I get to speak to a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of business leaders at different stages of growth. And of course, one of the topics that comes about is delegating hiring all those fun parts of building that operating system that team underneath you, the one that we know, we all want. And if you don't have it yet, or you're starting to build it, man, you know, you're envisioning the day where you don't have to do some of the things that you're doing to make the company run anymore. And I get that, right, that comes at every stage of business, it never ends, you're always going to be delegating, it doesn't matter what growth you get to. There's never a point where you are immune from having to delegate and offload stuff from your plate. The problem is, especially when we start to look at different phases of growth. So most of my experiences with him aren't, you know, businesses that are turning that six figure mark starting to look towards half a mil up to seven, even multiple, seven figures. That's the companies I've worked with the most. So that's really my purview, right?

What it's like to be $100 million company, I got no idea. I've never worked with $100 million company at this level. But most of the people that I talk to that are at that Affer mentioned level, they get things completely wrong when they start talking about delegating. And let me just step back from that to just, you know, the conversations that that you're seeing when you go into these groups where you know, group coaching Facebook groups, where people talk about wanting to get this off their desk, or that off the desk, and what they seem to always go for is the easy task. And just the way they talk about it, it's like, well, that stuff doesn't matter. I mean, that's the the easy stuff, I can delegate it. And I'm like, Well, yeah, you can. But I just want to take, I want to flip the script a little bit of what it means to delegate. When we think about delegating, we think that we are taking ourselves out of the equation, and we are no longer involved in that process. And I'm going to say, bullshit, you are still going to be involved in that process, you are still the owner of that business, you're the leader. And so you'd very much still have a role in that you never delegate and take your eyes completely off of it. Instead, you elevate your contribution. So you move from working entirely at a tactical level, to working at a strategic level. So your contribution changes, but your input and the fact that you're involved with that does not change. So think about that for a second when we talk about delegating, and are you ready to level up your contribution? Are you at a level of professionalism where you can do that?

Perhaps not just as an example, I was talking with someone who was asked me how I delegate stuff for this podcast, because I do have a VA that helps me with recording the podcast and publishing it and all those things. And she's great. She does fantastic work for me. She'd been with me over a year. And some of the questions I was being asked about the delegating process. I'm like, you're not really getting it yet. You're you're thinking really far in the weeds for this type of delegation. And it just dawned on me that you're not really ready to delegate that yet because your process isn't refined. Okay, in order to delegate something and just offload it to someone and elevating your contribution, you must have it clearly defined. That's far different than a situation where we know we don't have the capabilities and hire for those capable capabilities. Let's say you need some graphic design work done. That's like my Achilles heel, I stink at graphic design, I'm no good at it. But the thing is, I know I'm no good at it. So I hire people that are good at it and allow them to guide me in creating the things that I'm going to need for the future style guides, you know, different branding stuff that we're going to need to guide things in the future, I rely on those people that I hire, in order for me to have the steering documents. So overall, should you plan on delegating some of these more lower level tasks? Absolutely. Like it's gonna happen eventually. So the point in this conversation is not to say you shouldn't think about delegating those because you are going to, and that's great.

But I want to introduce another line of thought here. And that if you're looking to free yourself up and make a higher contribution in your business, to move things forward to become that thought leader or take on that big project that you need to take on to move the company forward, I would challenge you to understand that these low level tasks are not the highest leverage point that you have, it's not the things that's really occupying the most of your time and preventing you from moving to that next stage of your growth. So instead of going through the default tasks that we think of when we talk about delegating, I want you to take another step back and start with a time study. So time study is when I do one, they're extraordinarily detailed, they're quite frankly, extraordinarily painful. It's a two week process where I evaluate every 15 minutes of my day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 14 days. And I simply write it down on a tracker, actual pen and paper. Don't rely on digital tools for this, I don't recommend that because there is a brain to hand connection, when we write stuff down, we have a different relationship with that. And then at the end of that two weeks, you're not evaluating midstream, you're just documenting for those two weeks. And at the end of those two weeks, take the time sit down and see where your time really went. And here's the question I want you to ask yourself, when you do something like that, when you really evaluate your time, if you don't do a two week, crazy time study, like I described, ask yourself the real question what is occupying your time? What are the biggest tasks that you're doing that are just sucking your day away? That is what you need to get off your plate first, the thing that you're doing the most of the thing that you're the most involved with, that's taking up your time and preventing you from having the headspace to move to these levels that you're trying to get to to do these projects that you know will take the company to the next level or allow you to do something different, you know, introduce a new product, a new service, like all these things that we want to do, and we know we have to do. It's the things that are the time sucks that are preventing us from doing that.

So just a personal story is that for me when I was coming up and becoming an operator, for me, it was I was still running all of our email marketing, all of our automation, all of that stuff. And I've told this story before. I know at some point on the podcast, it was a major time suck. For me, it was like 1020 hours a week I was in Infusionsoft just cracking away on automation. So the thing is, that that's the task I knew best. So therefore, I was in the best position to document what I did exactly what I did how I did it, and teach it to someone else and elevate my contribution. So I was no longer in a tactical role. But I was in a strategic role overseeing all of our email automation, and all the behind the scenes stuff that made the business work. And here's the super sexy part of this.

So often we these delegated tasks, we think of what are we really looking for, if you're looking for just someone to screen your emails or post to Facebook, right? You're getting, you know, whoever to do it, right? You're not going to pay someone high dollar to do that. You're not going to go on an expansive search, you're probably not going to retain that person for very long. The turnover ratio for those types of jobs is ridiculous.

And that means you're in this constant cycle of teaching, teaching, teaching the suck of hiring and training someone up the tasks that are taking up your time, the tasks that are those highest value tasks that you need to get off your plate are the same task that will attract a players into your business. They're going to attract the people that want Want to make a contribution that have done some work already that do have the smarts, the know how, and, quite frankly, the motivation to really knock it out of the park, the tasks that you most need to delegate will attract those people. And those people are going to be the future shakers in your business, they're gonna be the ones that move things that allow the company to 10x and reach new heights, they're gonna be the future leaders in your company, you're gonna attract them through these higher level tasks that you need to get off your plate. I've seen it before. So I wouldn't be just pulling stuff out of my out of my butt for you guys. I've seen this happen before not only for me, but also for friends. Also, for clients of mine, I have seen it over and over again, the low level tasks will not attract those people, it's the higher level task and then you have someone you're able to pay at a higher rate, you're able to retain them more easily because they're doing work that's fulfilling, and gives them that sense of completeness, and fulfillment and success that they need to be successful in their own life. But then they're also watching you elevate yourself, you're grooming them to be, you know, to continuously take stuff over from you see how that works. It's like the cyclical nature of grabbing someone grab that a player, you know, give them a task, give them clear defined boundaries, clear defined, here's what winning looks like, allow them to win, give them everything they need to win and the company wins, you keep growing, and you keep bringing those people along with you see how that works.

And the other part of this is that I don't think I've talked about the need to balance your time. When we talk about the tasks that we're doing in our business, generally, I tend to put it just in one of two categories, you have strategic task and tactical task, the strategic tasks by their very nature are you know, bigger picture, they're the more 10,000 foot view, you know, looking at strategy, and like what's next. And tactical tasks are more the button clicking, the thing is strategic and tactical tasks are not static, they are moving with us as we elevate in the company. So what you're handing off was a tactical task for you. But it becomes a strategic task for the person that you're delegating it to see how that works. You're constantly shifting those parameters. And if you are the operator in the company of that second command, taking over something from the CEO, it was a tactical task for them, it now becomes a strategic task for you, it keeps on going down that way. And so even if it doesn't mean it's always going to be a strategic task for you. So if you take something over from the CEO, you become really good at it, you start to take on other strategic things, eventually, that strategic task becomes more of a tactical task, it becomes just going through the motions. Now just going through the motions is not necessarily a bad thing. We need those going through the motion task in our day that evens ourselves out. Because Don't kid yourself, I don't care how big of a go getter you are, I don't care how big of Superman, you are, you can't go 100 miles an hour all the time, you can't constantly be in strategic land thinking a big picture vision, and not be rooted in the tactical day to days of going what's going on in the business. Not only is that going to make you extremely disconnected, but you are going to burn the heck out like you i i haven't been able to personally maintain an entirely strategic output for all that long. I need breaks from it, I need to return to tactical tasks. If nothing more than a palate cleanser, something do allow me just to get some work done and crossed the finish line. Because that's the thing about eight players, let's think about people like us that love to succeed. We like to succeed, we like to win, we like to get that over and over and over again, strategic tasks, that big picture thinking, man wins are months and months in the making sometimes.

So you got to go find some wins in your day to do that. So look for balance, keep some tactical tasks on your plate in order to give yourself that balance that is not necessarily 5050. So when I say balance, like I hate the way that word gets misapplied in this business. It's not 5050 Okay, it might be at 20 it might be 9010 Your time study will tell you what your balance is so bad another another kudos for the time study. It shows you what your balance is. It shows you how much time you're spending in tactical, so you can work on maintaining balance and shifting things around. As you do, like I said, you need that tactical mitt to maintain yourself to give yourself the wins, and to keep yourself connected to what's going on in the company. So, to wrap things up here, do not immediately go for the low level task as your first level of delegation, again, plan to delegate those things. Yes, that's not what I'm saying. I'm not saying don't delegate those things. But I would stress don't delegate those things first. Okay, go for the stuff that's really taking up your time, go for the stuff that is the time suck, that's going to give you quite frankly, the motivation to get it done. Because you're going to see that light at the end of the tunnel. And those are the tasks that you know, best, you're already in a position to elevate yourself to a strategic role to elevate your contribution and move things forward. I know that's what we all want to do. So as you're looking at your own company, as you're looking at your own contribution, like I would, I would just stress for all of you, CEO, operator, whatever level you're working at in your business, overall aim to keep your balance. Build your team purposefully. And as you're bringing new team members on as you're looking for those eight players, we all say we want give those a players winning tasks, give them stuff of strategic importance that will help move the company forward, allow you to lead at a higher level and give them the satisfaction that they're going to need in order to stay on board with your company. And move ahead with you. Thanks so much for joining me, I hope this helped. I hope this at least made you think about this delegation thing in a different way. If I did nothing more than that, do it. I'll be so happy because I just I want you guys to succeed. And I know how good it feels when you delegate that hard task, the things that it opens up the brain waves that are suddenly present. Holy cow, it's absolutely incredible. And until you experience it, you're not going to know it's scary. But man, the reward is at the end. Trust me on that and go ahead and delegate that stuff. That is the time suck for you. All right now before you bounce out, just do please do me a quick favor, quick favor, guys. Jump on over to iTunes, give the show a rating and a review. Really appreciate it. Until next time smooth operators.

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