Kill Task Overwhelm and Get Free to Lead
Tanner: This is Tanner Jones, welcome to another Consultwebs webinar. How law firm leaders can kill task overwhelm and get free to lead. I’ve been looking forward to this webinar for quite some time, back when our team told me several months ago that we were gonna have Chris Locurto joining us and sharing his thoughts and insights on leadership. Chris, welcome.
Chris: Thank you, Tanner. It’s so good to be with you guys.
Tanner: So for the attendees here when you’re running a law firm, you never have a shortage of things to do. Most leaders are task saturated, they’re overwhelmed, and they’re feeling like they’re constantly fighting fires within the office. And, you know, I speak to law firms on a day-to-day basis and this is the way it is across the board throughout the country. And imagine you have a roadmap to minimize overwhelm, to get free to lead, to actually work on your business, to utilize your strengths every single day on your business. It seems too good to be true, right? Well, that’s exactly what Chris is gonna be able to talk about today.
Before we get started though, I’d like just to get a better understanding of the audience and start with a poll question. So let’s go ahead and answer if you could. In the go-to-meeting platform you’ll see a poll question, what percentage of time do you spend working on your law firm’s business as opposed to being in the business? How much time do you spend on the business working on the more important tasks of leading and driving your business forward? And you can choose between these options 0 to 25% of the time, 26% to 50% of the time, 51% to 75% of the time and 76% to 100% of the time. If you don’t know and you haven’t really tracked it, that’s perfectly fine. Go ahead and choose. I don’t know, but this is gonna give both Chris and I a better understanding of the attendees here today. We’ll give you just another moment to complete this poll and once it’s complete, we’ll go ahead and show you the responses.
Okay. Very good. So about half of the attendees say they spend 0 to 25% of their time working on the business as opposed to in the business. Chris, would you say that’s pretty consistent with a lot of the business owners you speak to?
Chris: I actually find the percentage usually is considerably higher than that. Where people will spend more than a quarter of their time in the business. So that’s not terrible to see that folks are only spending less than 25, is it? Did I get that correctly? They’re spending less than 25% working on the business?
Tanner: That’s right. That’s right.
Chris: Good for those folks. The question is, is that because you have success in people who are running the business or because we don’t know what the right things are to do to grow the business or run the business successfully?
Tanner: And hopefully, everyone’s being honest for that too. But nonetheless, I mean, it’s clear that there’s still a healthy amount of people here that have opportunity to significantly grow in their own leadership but/and also be able to grow their business because they can lead more than actually do more in terms of the day-to-day. So that being said we’ll jump right back into the webinar. I wanna give a quick introduction of Chris. As I mentioned before, I was so excited to have Chris. I’ve known Chris for a number of years and in fact hired Chris through personal coaching as well as our entire leadership team at Consultwebs has worked with Chris through his Strat plan, where we go in an intensive three-day plan, where we go through top to bottom, all the good and the bad of the business looking opportunities to grow and I have so much respect for Chris.
He’s an accomplished entrepreneur. He’s a speaker, he’s a coach, he’s a leader of leaders helping businesses and individuals realize and maximize their personal and professional potential. And he pours that great passion for people along with decades of experience and perspective into his daily work with business leaders. And, you know, it’s that passion and insight which has led to businesses being able to explode the revenues and help thousands of individual business owners realize their potential, ultimately helping them live a stronger life. Today Chris owns and leads the Poimen group, it’s a life of business and a leadership coaching business dedicated to serving individuals and businesses throughout the country and around the world. Chris and his team employ coaching vehicles which include strategic business planning, one-on-one leadership coaching, mastermind groups, life coaching, life events and more.
And in today’s conversation we’re gonna cover several topics, several important topics for business owners specifically law firms. Helping them understand how to prioritize daily activities, how to set proper boundaries. Chris is gonna show you all actionable ways to reduce stress. If you get anything from this, if you just find ways to reduce stress I think you found the webinar to be worthy of your time. He’s also gonna talk about ways to just be more efficient and ultimately helping you stay sane and managing your business and ultimately helping you grow your law firm, grow your caseloads. So with that being said, Chris, thank you so much for joining us.
Chris: Absolutely. I’m so glad to have you guys on this webinar. For me, as Tanner just said, I work with a lot of leaders in entrepreneurs and we’ve got inside of our next-level Mastermind group, inside of our strap lands, we have law firms that have come through to gain in their leadership, but also to grow their businesses. And there’s one thing that, as you’re sharing a little while ago Tanner, that I see consistently and that is so many lawyers are taught a craft and don’t get a ton of information on how to lead a business or how to lead a team. And they go do an incredible job lawyering and then wonder why certain things might be overwhelming when it comes to the business side of stuff. It’s something we see a lot. It’s not just with lawyers, but we see it in every single business that comes in here. And the thing that you have to understand when it comes to growing your business or growing your team is that growth must happen.
Now, some folks are okay with being the same because they believe that being the same is gonna be okay, but that’s actually not true. Things change all the time. You have to understand that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Therefore to grow, you must have a growth mindset. And to have a growth mindset, you gotta figure out what does growth look like, but more importantly what we spend a lot of time on helping people to understand is what’s holding them back. So people always believe, “Oh, growth is the difficult part.” It actually is not the difficult part. Finding money, finding ways of growing, that’s actually a heck of a lot easier than people believe that it is. They think that’s the difficult part. That part’s not the part that holds you back. The part that holds you back is all of the things that are keeping you from getting to that growth.
Sometimes it’s not having a growth mindset. Sometimes it’s believing, “You know our business is running just fine, we can leave it the way that it is, it’s not causing us any problems right now so there’s not a whole lot we have to do about it. The problem is that it never stays that way and I know everybody listening into this is like, “Yeah, that’s true.” Our business is never the same. It’s always something new, a new struggle, struggles with leading people, whatever that is. But one of the biggest issues that leaders have, so whether you’re a leader, whether you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re an entrepreneur then, of course, you should be a leader, one of the number-one issues that they have is task saturation.
Task saturation is the greatest destroyer of a growth mindset. And what I mean by task saturation…this is one of those things that people get confused on a lot. Like, “What in the world are you talking about.” Tasks saturation and overwhelm is what we call the leadership crazy cycle. When you have so much stuff on your plate or you don’t have somebody to take care of the things that you shouldn’t be focusing on or you’re focusing on areas that you should not be, so like when we asked the question of how many are working in your business instead of on your business, what we find with every single leader that comes through here is, they are spending a certain amount of time. If they’re a leader, again, if they don’t have a specific role that doesn’t involve leadership, if they are a leader, we find every single person coming through is spending more time working on things that they shouldn’t be doing. Admin stuff. Things that other team members could be doing. Not delegating properly. Focusing on tasks that are keeping them to greater things like growing the team or growing the business. We see it over and over and over again. And one of the most common things we see, we phrase it in two different ways, overwhelm or stuck.
We see leaders time and time again that feel overwhelmed in their business and they don’t understand why. They know that money’s coming in, things are working, but for some reason, at the end of the day, they can’t even remember all the things they did today. They know they did a lot, they know they focus on a bunch of things, but by the time they’re done in somebody’s to say, “What did you do today?” “I really don’t even know. I did a lot and it was a lot.” And it can cause struggles, not only inside of the business, but inside the leadership. But inside of your personal life as well. This can be carried over into marriages, it can be carried over into families, it can just be carried over into personal time and not feeling settled or not feeling like life is going the way you want it to go.
That overwhelm tends to happen because we’re not focusing on our strengths. We’re not working in our strengths. Instead, we’re focusing on a few areas that we need to change, we need to kill. What we call the leadership crazy cycle. And so we’re working, we’re doing the thing that we’re specialized at. If it’s being a lawyer then it is going in and doing that job day in day out, but it’s not the only thing we’re doing. We’re also trying to lead a team, we’re also trying to lead a business, we’re also trying to grow, we’re also trying to make sure we get the right hires, we’re also trying to make sure that the office is taken care of. We may have people in those roles, but all of those pieces not…and it doesn’t even have to be the whole role, but the pieces of those others those other roles that fall back on us tend to cause us to be even more overwhelmed. So the things I’m gonna be going through today and this is a truncated version of what we normally teach. This lesson we usually teach is about an hour and a half or two hours long, which obviously we don’t have that time today.
So I’m gonna be going through a shorter version of this in giving you the things that you can do today. The things that you can do right now to get started on killing the leadership crazy cycle. This is one of the things that we push heavily in our next level mastermind leaders and entrepreneurs is to kill the leadership crazy cycle. And the reason why is just like I just explained. Until you do, until you get this junk off of your plate, I call it junk because it’s not your strengths, it’s stuff somebody else should be doing or it’s stuff that you shouldn’t even be focusing on. Until you get it off your plate, you will not realize how much you are holding back your team. Let me say that again. If you are in the leadership crazy cycle, if you are overwhelmed, if you are stuck in stuff, if you are doing things that you shouldn’t be doing, then you are actually holding back your team and you’re never gonna see that much growth until you solve this. And you’re not gonna understand how much you’re missing out on until you solve this.
So that is why whenever, it doesn’t matter everybody coming into our programs, coming into our events, whatever it is, this is the first thing that we push them on. You actually have a process that causes them to go through, take assessment of it, discover the areas that they need to fix and then fix them and get them done so that they can move on to things that’s not holding back their company, holding back their team. So when you’re stuck in these things you’re not able to lead them well. That is key. If you are stuck in overwhelm, if you’re stuck in task saturation, if you’re stuck in doing things that you shouldn’t be focusing on then you’re not leading the rest of your team well. And some of you are thinking, “Well, Chris I spent a lot of time not even around my team.” Absolutely. That’s correct. So how much more important is it? The time that you do spend with them that you’re leading them to success because that’s my belief. Your job as a leader is to make your team successful not the other way around and when people get into leadership, they don’t understand that. They think, “Wait, I’m going to hire all these folks and they’re gonna make me successful.” How can they do that if they don’t know how to. How can they do that if they don’t run the business the way that they should be doing, doing the things that they should be doing, working in the strengths that they should be working in, and they don’t have somebody leading them to that success? So this is a huge thing that we have to focus on to make sure that we are being successful so we can make them successful in the process.
When we control our time, it changes how we grow our team, our business, and ourselves. Now, as I go through this, let me coach you on this in this process. This is something that people all the time when they hear it they go, “I think I’m doing really good on this.” And I will be honest, decades ago when I started this process, I was one of those people, “Eh, I’m doing good on this, I’m alright. I’ve got this, this isn’t really that big of a deal.” What you’re gonna see is the things I hit over our time together will actually show you that, “Yeah, it actually is a big deal,” except that we’re missing out and then nobody’s pushed us to be excellent at or they’ve never even taught us we’ve never even learned it. So for me, I am somebody who I coach people all the time, that’s part of what we do here and I have coaches.
I also happen to race Formula cars as a hobby. This is not Formula 1, everybody gets that confused. No, I’m not that young and I’m not that small. But I do race formula cars as a hobby, as a fun thing. And one of the…my first time I got to go race at Daytona. We usually do road courses. We don’t do these big oval tracks, we usually do road courses and the first time I got down there I had my coach, who’d been there I don’t know something like 12 years racing at that track, and he said, “Chris just go out and do a baseline. Let’s just go see what you got.” And I went out and I gotta tell you it was rough. I had never been on an oval before and I came back and I had all kinds of ideas of things I could change. And he looked at me and he said, “I want you to do this one thing,” and I’m like, “Well, what about this, this, this and this?” He said, “I want you to do this one thing, head back out.” Got back out on the track, went around, picked up a second.
Now, this is a three and a half mile track that’s a lot of time to pick up. He did this and coached me piece, by piece, by piece. Instead of me jumping in and solving the whole problem the way that I thought would solve the problem, the way, you know, from my point of view. Instead, he said, “You’re not ready for that. Start here, do this, great.” Picked up a second, “Go back out, do this.” Every single time I went out I picked up about another second. By the time I got to the end of the day he goes, “Okay, remember the thing you said this morning? Now, go do those.” I went out and by the time I was done I had picked up five seconds on a three and a half mile track and got right up there with the leaders in the race. That is what we’re doing here today.
You need to know the pieces that you need to focus on that will get you to the bigger pieces that you could focus on. Right now, instead of saying, “Hey, here’s what you gotta do, “You gotta go do this piece to lead your team, you gotta do this piece to make sure that your business is growing, you gotta do this thing to get more money. Instead, we focus on all the things that are currently keeping you from being successful. This happens to be one of those. Successful leaders, successful entrepreneurs understand the need to control their sets of time. Lawyers understand this. Why? Because so much of your time is either occupied by courtrooms or occupied waiting to find out whether or not you’re going to be in them. And that can really jack up your time so you have to utilize that time the best that you possibly can. Controlling their time is what separates great leaders from everyone else.
Now, you have to understand something else. When it comes to leadership, your worth as a leader is not in how many tasks you have on your plate or complete in a day. So many leaders and entrepreneurs find their identity in the tasks that they get done in a day. Now, I don’t call them the tasks, it’s the things I did, it’s the stuff that I got done today. So many people find their worth in that and that is not where your worth comes from. Your worth as a leader, now we’re not talking about in the courtroom, we’re talking about the leader of your business. Your worth as a leader is in making your team successful. The more you focus on that, the more you can actually grow the business, the more you can solve problems, the more you can get out of overwhelm. Because, as you make each team member more successful, you essentially duplicate yourself in another area.
So your greatest worth as a leader is guiding your team to success. You do your thing in the courtroom if you’re a courtroom lawyer, you do your specialized stuff. That’s great, that’s fantastic, that’s a part of your job. But a big piece of what you can do and should do as a leader is guide your team members in everywhere that they can be successful. A big part of that is getting stuff off of your plate onto them and making them successful with it. Now, a little bit I’m gonna talk about how to delegate properly which is one of the most misunderstood processes of leadership. Why? Because most people have never been taught how to delegate properly. Instead, they do the same thing that everybody else does. They hand something over and they go, “Did you get it done yet? Is it done? Did you get that fixed? Here, just give it back. I’ll do it. I can do it faster. I’ll just do it myself.” We usually wait until the absolute last minute to do so. That is unacceptable. Why? Because then we can’t be successful at delegating. Instead, we end up trying to force things on people not knowing whether or not they can do it and we end up taking it back and it becomes a failure.
So what is one of the things that holds leaders back from doing this? Fear. Fear keeps many leaders from making the transition from task saturation to leading their team. Fear of what will I do if I don’t have tasks? Now, this hits every leader. “Well Chris, if I take some of these things off of my plate, if I get some of this stuff off then what am I gonna do?” Well, you already know that there’s a certain level of your time that’s gonna be occupied with your specialization. That’s your…that’s still gonna happen. “What do I do with the rest of the time? Everything that I focus on, that’s where I get my work from. Look at all the stuff that I get done in a day, that is where I feel like I’m talented in.” No, that’s not your talent. Your talent is in your specialization, but as a leader, you need to create the talent of helping other people be successful. Fear of not knowing how to lead team members to success. This is probably the biggest thing that comes up all the time. “Okay, great so I get the concept. You want me to be able to lead my team members to success. How in the world am I gonna do that? What does that even look like?” Now, that’s…we’re gonna cover that.
Fear of not being needed. Now, this is a tough one because a lot of times a lot of folks believe that if they are not task saturated, if they don’t have 400 tasks on the plate to get done today, then they’re not gonna be needed at all. “What would I do as a leader? Now, obviously I’m not gonna be needed, people are gonna see that, people are gonna think that he’s just around here collecting money,” or, “He’s just around here, she’s around here and doesn’t really do anything important.” If you are not leading your team members, you’re correct. Then you need those tasks to look like you’re doing something right. That’s not our focus. The focus isn’t to look like we’re doing something right, the focus is to be doing something right.
Another fear is the fear of not being significant. Well, again, if I get everything off my plate then what makes me significant inside of this business. Also not being able to get my needs fulfilled anywhere else. So folks, if you are getting the bulk of your needs fulfilled by your job, I can tell you that already is causing a lot of overwhelm in your life because you’ll never get enough. If you’re not getting your needs fulfilled in other areas, family, friends, for me God, if you’re not getting your needs fulfilled in the right places, if you’re focusing on getting your needs fulfilled by your job, what you will find is you will go ballistic and wear yourself out to get your needs fulfilled trying to make it happen. And here’s what we all know, how long does it possibly last? It lasts about five minutes. If you’re getting your needs fulfilled, it works for a little bit of time and then you gotta go crazy again to make it happen. That doesn’t work.
So these are the fears that most leaders experienced when we start talking about this conversation. Here’s something I want you to recognize, are the tasks you’re focusing on every day worth the salary that you take home? So let me kind of give you an example of this, if you’re making about $50,000 a year, that’s $25 an hour. If it’s $100,000, it’s 50 an hour. If it’s 150, it’s 75. So if you’re making $75 an hour and you’re doing administrative work that we could be paying somebody $15 an hour, $12 an hour, $17 an hour, is that the smartest thing for you to be doing? But if we just did it in half, if we cut it in half and we said, “Okay,” you’re focusing on a bunch of tasks that we could pay somebody $35 an hour to do. Which would be, should be decently high on the task that you’re probably doing. But take a look at what your hourly rate is. How much are you worth per hour? Then take a look at the things you do in a day. How many of those things are not worth the money that you could be or should be getting paid for? So if we get these things off of you, what happens to you? We free you up to do things that are more valuable. So we’re essentially duplicating you in the process and getting into place where we can have you focus on what you’re more strong, your greater strengths in other words.
So to get rid of task saturation you’ll need to start by creating what we call KRA, Key Results Area. I’ll just kind of hit this very quickly. These are the key areas, the key results that make you win at your role. If you’re doing these things then you’re winning. Obviously. Preparing the briefs, or preparing clients, or being in the courtroom, or whatever specifically, those are your specializations then, guess what? Those are pieces that have to be a part of your KRA. But for other things, you might take a look down and see if you’re doing the accounting. That may not be a key result area for your specific role. For you, that may not be something you should be focusing on. Now, if you’re a one man shop or a couple people, then maybe you do have to be doing that. But if you look down and you find ordering office supplies or initial stages of the hiring process or, you know, whatever it is that doesn’t belong on that, that isn’t a key result area, it needs to be on somebody else’s KRA and that’s what we’re gonna be looking for.
So in order to make sure that you have the proper KRA, the key results area, so think of this as like a job description only, you know, on steroids. So make sure that you have the proper KRA. Here are some things that we want you to do. You can do this starting today. The first thing you do is you use the love it, hate it, delegate it process. This is going to be easy, but it’s gonna take time. This isn’t gonna happen…you don’t get to do this in 10, 15 minutes. This, you’re actually gonna have to find some time longer than that that you can sit down and go through every single thing that you do. The first thing you’re gonna do is make a long list of all the tasks that you perform on a daily basis. Even if it’s something you only do once a week, you make a long list of every single thing that you do. Don’t leave anything out.
So again, if this takes you five minutes, you probably did not think through everything. You’re probably not paying attention to other things that you do. Go through every test that you do or that you’re responsible for then separate the list into two shorter lists, things you love to do and things you hate to do or just don’t like to do. So you have the Love It list. These are the things that, “Man, I really love doing and I’m excited about and when I come to work these are things that I love to spend time in.” Put that list down. Now, we’re not done with this list yet but separate that. Take the other things that you don’t love to do and you put it on the hate…we call it Hate It lists or I just don’t like it. It doesn’t have to be I hate doing this. It’s just not something that I like to do. The reason why we’re doing this is because the things you love doing chances are are going to be in your strengths. The things you don’t, chances are are either not gonna be in your strengths or stuff you shouldn’t be doing anyways. So separate those two out.
Now, it doesn’t mean that everything that’s on your love list is gonna stay. So I’ll get to that in just a second. Separate those two lists out then go through the Hate it list and pull the things that you must do because you’re the only one who should be focused on it or because your role requires you to do it and add it back to the Love It list. So anything on that Hate It list that cannot and that’s the key here, cannot be delegated, then you need to put it back on the Love It list. It doesn’t mean that you’re not going to delegate it down the road, it’s just right now when you look down at it, you fear, you know, two, three, four people in an office and you’re like, “I literally have nobody else to do the accounting. I’m the only one who does it and I really don’t want anybody else in it.” So, right now that goes back on my Love It list because nobody else can do it.
So there’s gonna be some of those things, but do not pull over anything that shouldn’t be on that list. Don’t put stuff over there and convince yourself, “Well, I have to be the one who does this,” when you don’t. Don’t pull stuff back over and go, “Well, I can’t…I don’t have time to delegate this.” Don’t worry about that. Just keep the two lists separate for right now and then we will work through this. Then on the Love It list, remove anything that you shouldn’t be doing because it’s holding you back as a leader and add it to the Hate It list. This is one of the tougher parts. This is where we have to be very mature in our leadership and what I mean by that is this, there are things that I love to do that I don’t get to do. The early days when I very first started removing things from my tasks that I love doing, but I realized if I stay on this I don’t get to grow this business, I don’t get to grow this team. That was tough because there were things I’m like, “I really enjoy.” I probably spend, I don’t know four or five hours a week on that, and it’s something that’s fun, it’s something that feeds me. Yes, but I have a bigger role and that role is to turn around and make somebody else more successful with it, to turn around and make team members more successful, to look across my team I’ve got this team that keeps growing, and growing, and growing, and I have folks that need my leadership so this here, it’s gotta go.
So look through that Love It list, find those things that you shouldn’t be doing even if you love it, but you really should pass on to somebody else and take that off of the list. Now, when possible, circle, highlight, put stars around this, when possible delegate everything on the Hate It list. This is something that is going to take a lot more time than you think and it needs to be done properly. The way I first started doing this in my early leadership career, I’ll never forget, I came into the office one Saturday and I was just like, “That’s it, I’m done. I’m doing this. I’m getting stuff off of my plate.” I’ve gotta get all this stuff so I can start making my team more successful, so I can start bringing in more revenue, I can, you know, grow up to sales people better, I can…whatever I’ve gotta do. I went in and I went through everything. Everything. And this was almost about two decades ago when everything was still on paper. We weren’t filing things in computers and I was so excited at the end of my Saturday when I went around to all of these different desks and I dropped piles of stuff on their desks and I thought to myself I am going to be so much more freed up right now. And I was. And then Monday morning came along and my team member came in and it ruined their week. This was not the proper way to delegate because they walked in and like, “What in the world,” they had already had their Monday morning set in their mind. They already knew what Monday looked like because they knew what it looked like when they left on Friday. And I thought if I dump this stuff on their desk and tell him, “Hey, you get to do this now,” that I was delegating well. It was a terrible way to delegate.
So instead, that’s when I pulled back and went through person after person with piece after piece and made sure that I properly delegated to them. To properly delegate anything, you must focus on making the delegatee successful in the process. So what usually happens is people take something, throw it to somebody else and go, “Hey, you understand how to do that? Go ahead and make that happen. Let me know if you have any questions.” And then they go back to them over and over again and to ask them, “Did you get it done?” And wonder why it doesn’t get done and then they end up taking it back causing even more work now. Because usually when you get something off your plate, you fill it with something else and then when the task or the role that you delegated has not been done successfully, you pull it back into your plate and now you’re even more overwhelmed. It is your job to make sure that the person you’re delegating to is successful. You’ve been successful at the task, you’ve been successful at the role, you’ve done it successfully, you’re handing it off to somebody who probably has never done it and so how can we possibly expect that they’re automatically gonna be successful in this process? They’re not.
It doesn’t matter how smart they are, they might figure it out. It might take them a while but they may figure it out. But that’s not our goal. Our goal isn’t for them to struggle in figuring it out, our goal is to make sure that they know exactly what to do. So we’re going to walk through properly delegating. And again, let me coach you on this guys. This is something I’ve been teaching now for decades because it works. We believe we can just hand stuff off, it doesn’t work. You’ve gotta do it the right way. So in choosing someone to delegate to ask yourself what team member or team members have the role that this task would fit? So in other words, if it’s not somebody that even lines up with the task, don’t give them the role. Don’t just look out there and think, “Well, so and so has a little bit of free time. Let me throw this at them.” If they don’t line up with it, if their role doesn’t line up with it, don’t dump it in an area where you’re gonna have to go solve that problem again later on. Instead, make sure that the role fits. So if it’s a salesperson, do we dump accounting on them? That would not be a smart idea. If it’s a personal assistant are we gonna dump sales on them? That would not be a smart idea. Instead, make sure that the role fits the thing that you’re delegating.
Next thing, do they have the capacity personally to do the task successfully? So this is a much bigger question. You’ve gotta ask yourself, is this somebody who has the intelligence to pull this off? Is this somebody who has the time to pull this off? Is this somebody who has the ability that they’re they really pick things up fast or this thing isn’t too complex for them? Do they have the capacity to do the task? If you come back with, “Nope,” then why in the world would you throw it to them. Make sure they’ve got the capacity before you start. Then, do they have the time to learn the process? Again, circle, highlight, star the word “learn” because if they don’t then what you’re gonna be doing is you’re gonna be throwing a ball of fire into their lap and it’s just gonna keep going. Because they can’t get to it and learn how to do it the right way. If they can’t learn the process, if they can’t learn what you learned which probably took you a lot longer than you’re gonna be expecting them to learn, if they can’t spend that time like you did learning how to make that thing successful, that process successful, that role successful, then they won’t. If they just won’t be successful, they’ll get it done, but it’ll probably be broken and busted and you’ll be wondering when you’re gonna take that process back again.
Next thing, do they have the time to do the task regularly? So in other words, it’s not enough for them to just learn how to do it, do they have the time to pull it off? Can they actually focus on this on a regular basis and a great way to think about this is how much time did it take you every week to do it, add a little bit more time to that maybe about a third more time, and ask the question do they have that much time. So if it took you three hours to do it in a week, maybe it’s gonna take them four hours every single week. Do they have four hours every single week to do this task? If they don’t this is not a good place to go or we’re gonna have to do something different which is take things off of their care. Do they have the tools needed to perform the task? This is something that, for some reason, a lot of people just don’t think about.
So if you’ve got a specialized computer, if you’ve got specialized software, if you’ve got a specialized phone system, whatever it is, if you have it and that’s how you perform that task, they have to have it. You have to make sure that they are set up for success. So if you’ve got that tool and they don’t have it, they need it. And it’s possible that there’s a newer update to that tool or a better way of utilizing it that you haven’t even looked at because you’ve been doing it your way for the last couple of years. So make sure they have the tools to perform the tasks. A lot of times people will delegate stuff and expect that somebody does it what the tin can in a string and what they needed was something a heck of a lot bigger and better than that. So set them up for success, make sure that they’ve got the right tools even if that means taking the tool away from you and giving it to them.
Next thing, other things on their KRA that they shouldn’t be focusing on that need to fall off or be delegated. So in that process of taking a look at every single team member that you’re delegating to and making sure that they’ve got the time to learn, that they’ve got the capacity to learn, that they’ve got the time to pull off the project, the role, whatever it is, one thing you need to do is look over their KRA. And by the way guys, if you don’t have KRAs for your business, go to our website and there’s a free download that will help you get started. I believe it’s on the front page or it’s on the blog page. So make sure that every team member has a KRA so they know what winning is looking like, the areas that they need to focus on. So you take a look at their KRA and you ask the question, is there anything on their KRA that needs…that they shouldn’t be doing in the first place, which you’ll probably find a couple of those things we don’t even do that anymore. We don’t need to be focusing on that anymore. That’s not even important anymore. But one of the things you can discover is there may be things on their KRA that need to be delegated to somebody else. If that can happen, great. We’ve now freed this person up to grow into the role with the tasks or things that you’re gonna give them.
So here’s a phenomenal thing that happens, we get them to delegate to somebody else growing that person. We get this person that we’re delegating to who’s growing into a stronger much more needed person as well because we’re giving them…we’re duplicating us or duplicating them in somebody else. Growth is happening. This is fantastic. Everybody stepping up a little bit. They’re growing in their roles because they’re taking on something that’s more important or bigger than what they’re used to.
Next thing, pick the task or tasks that you can currently make the time to train on fully and begin the delegation process. So do not make the big mistake of taking a task and throwing it to somebody and you have zero time to train them. That will destroy the process. That will be a waste of time because we will be back to the same exact place I was talking about earlier where we’ll throw it to somebody, they can’t be successful at it, you yank it right back because I can still get it done faster than they can. And you’re stressed out and overwhelmed. Make sure that you have time. So as you go through that list, if you don’t have…you’re probably not gonna delegate every single thing on the Hate It list right away. So go through and pick the things you can make time to train people on right now. If you can do that then you will find that this becomes DNA for you. You can start delegating things because you know how to do it and you’ve got the time to train on it fully.
In the delegation process, ask the delegatee questions like, “Does this make sense?” So some things that we don’t do as leaders is make sure that we give the person the opportunity to ask questions. Sometimes people don’t wanna feel stupid. If you are delegating administrative tasks to an administrative person, then I can promise you this, they, a lot of times, will not ask any questions because they feel like they’re gonna look stupid if they do. What’s gonna happen in that? Well, they’re not gonna ask the questions that they need to ask and so they’re not gonna be successful and they’re gonna hold on to pride or they’re not gonna want to upset you or let you down and so they don’t ask the right questions.
One of the best ways to get somebody talking and giving them the permission is to say, “Does this make sense?” Immediately, they will go, “Yes,” or, “You know, it really doesn’t. I’m not understanding this.” Ask them, “Do you have any questions?” Giving them freedom again. “Is anything confusing when you look at this task or you look at this roller, you look at this thing that I’m talking through. I’ve explained it from my personality style, I’ve explained it from how I see it, is any of this confusing to you?” Now, I know after having done this again for decades I lead leaders and entrepreneurs and teams, I’ve been doing this for decades, I know that there are so many times I speak at a level that I think is absolutely clear. Only to find out somebody’s going I have no clue what you’re saying. I feel like I’ve explained it, I feel like I’ve given plenty of examples, I’ve given tons of information and they still don’t get it. And then they’ll ask a question in a way that I’m like, “Oh, well, of course. I totally didn’t say that. I didn’t explain that.” So is anything confusing? Do you have enough information to perform the task?
Now, you guys may not know this about me, I am huge on teaching personality styles. I’ve been teaching… I’ve been a disc expert for, again, about 20-something years. I’ve been teaching personality styles for a very long time, teaching how to get teams communicating so they can have high levels of quality communication. When it comes to this do you have enough information to perform this task? Certain personality styles, if you are delegating to them and they do not have enough information, they will put the task on the back burner. I’m betting most of you listening to this right now are going, “Oh, I’ve experienced that before.” They will put it on the back burner and when you come find out, “Hey, is that getting done?” “No.” “Why not?” “Well, I was waiting for somebody to explain this to me.” “Well, why didn’t you say something?” “Well, I just kind of figured somebody would come by and tell me.”
So, listen that is unacceptable. Do you have enough information to perform this task? If the answer is no what else do you need and with that, they need to know that they have to actually ask questions. Do you feel you have the tools to pull this test off? If not, what do you need? Don’t just take for granted that the tools that you’re currently using are enough for the person to pull this off. They may need something differently. My personality style, I can’t operate on bare minimum stuff and make anything happen. That’s just the way I am.” “Oh, we need to do that? Great. Here’s what we…just get this, this, this we’re done.” Then I try to delegate it to somebody else and like, “I don’t even know how to do that without these other tools.” If they need the other tools, make it happen. Do you need more education to perform this task successfully? You may have done it for so long that you don’t realize that it took you weeks to understand how to do it or you went through a process of somebody teaching you how to do it. So is there education that they need to perform the task successfully.
Is there anything else that you need from me? This again is one of those questions that opens up the ability for them to say, gives them permission to say, “Yes. If you would help me to do this, if you would show me how you do this. I always notice that when you’re doing this task you do this thing over here and I have no clue how you even do that or how you think better how you get there.” So make sure they have the ability to ask about that. Where do you feel you will be weak in this process? Now, you have to when you ask this question, for a lot of us that we do this in the hiring process as well, right? Or at least you should be asking this question, you have to kind of tee this up.
Now, listen this isn’t me asking you a question to see how you’re gonna fail. This is me trying to make sure that I’m surrounding you in your weaknesses and I usually use an example. For me, an example is, “I am never ever ever going to be a great administrative person.” So, in other words, if I am going to be your personal assistant, let me tell you it’s gonna be the funniest time you ever had, but you will miss 10 appointments a day. Because I’m just…that’s not me. I’m not that administrative, that’s a weakness of mine. Therefore I surround myself with administrative people. So once I share that, that kind of gives them the ability to say, “Oh, okay. Well, yeah. Here’s an area that I probably will be a little bit weak in.” Then make sure that you back them up. What will it take to support their weakness so that they can operate in this in their strengths? Do you know I expect you to reach out to me if this becomes confusing? This again kind of puts a cap on that ability to put it on the backburner not do anything about it. You have to talk to me, I expect that you reach out to me. If anything doesn’t make sense I expect it. Don’t let me come over and find on a couple of days from now that you have no clue what to do.
If you do all of this then the follow-up process is a vital part of proper delegation. The first thing you wanna do is schedule the amount of time needed to see how things are going and lead the team member to success. If you don’t do this, most people think, “Oh, I’ll just go by. I’ll probably go by a couple times a week and just see how things are going.” And then you don’t and it’s gonna be a week later and you will have missed opportunities to solve problems because you are not available. They may even want to ask the questions, they may be doing a great job, but they don’t have the information and since you’re not available they don’t get to ask that question. So you need to schedule the amount of time needed. This doesn’t mean that you gotta set an hour, it doesn’t mean that it has to even be a half hour. Sometimes it can be 15 minutes, it can be a five-minute drive by. But you’ve got to schedule the time and make sure that you’re going over and seeing how they are doing. Again, don’t do what most bad leaders do and constantly ask, “Is it done yet? Is it done yet? Is it done yet?” That’s actually not gonna make the team member successful. It’s gonna make them feel like a failure and it’s gonna actually have them pull back a little bit because they’re afraid that they’re gonna screw something up and you’re just gonna be mad at them.
The more successful they are with the tasks the less you have to follow up. So as you continue to delegate properly, as you’re doing all the things that I’m sharing with you, a great thing begins to happen. It becomes DNA. You do it well it becomes DNA in the business. So the next time you delegate to that person, it doesn’t take as long. You don’t have to have as much follow-up, you don’t have to have as much time teaching, you don’t have to have as much time explaining. Instead, because you’ve started this delegation process, it now becomes DNA and the next thing takes a little bit less time, and the next thing a little bit less, and the next a little bit less after that. Done properly, the delegation process allows for every leader to be focused on their greatest strengths. And guys, this is where you need to be. You do not need to be focusing on things that you’re not strong in. The more we can get you into your strengths, the better we can run this business, the more we can grow the business.
Like I said in the very beginning, if you’re not growing you’re dying and that we have to get you and your strengths or your other leaders as well. We gotta get people that are focusing on their greatest strengths so we can continue to grow the business, therefore, grow the team. As the tasks are being removed from your plate, begin feeling the time with more important things like leading and training your leadership above or below, and/or team members to success. So how do we lead team members to success? Well, I just gave you a ton of ways of doing that, but there’s a heck of a lot more. And like I said this is a truncated version of this lesson so I’m just gonna give it really super quick.
One of the ways is to go around to every single team member and find what is missing in their role, in their knowledge of what they’re doing or things that would make that role better. So there’s a long list of things you can do to make sure that your team members are becoming more successful. That is usually a very awkward thing for leaders because they’ve never really done that before. As you begin to lead each team member, it’s gonna be a struggle, it’s gonna be painful. The more you do it, the more you will love to do it and you find success in it. It will become second nature to you in the process.
Focus on the team and/or company growth. When you don’t have a bunch of tiny tasks, or tasks saturation, or overwhelm, then you can start looking at things from a 30,000-foot view. That’s why we have all of our leaders and entrepreneurs that go through our next level Mastermind or go through Strat plan is because they are able…we get the…we kill the leadership crazy cycle and it helps them to be able to focus on bigger things, growth. How can we take the business to the next level? How can we gain more in revenues? How can we make teams stronger? Consultwebs has gone through this a couple of times already and it is blown up the business and the leadership [inaudible 00:51:42] become more successful in the process.
So how can you focus on your team and on the company growth? Focus on the team and our company needs. What do we need? Do we need a bigger footprint? Do we need different office stuff, computers, printers, or whatever it is? Are there needs that we have inside of the business that because we don’t have them it’s holding us back? Creating and casting vision which is one of the most important things you can do is make sure that the team is actually heading in the same direction. Creating and teaching culture. What do we expect out of our team? What do we expect in our business? Culture for me is actions and attitudes. What are the things that we want to see to make this successful? Helping team members to be the most productive in their greatest strengths. So we’re moving you and your greatest strengths, how do we get everybody else in that as well?
More one-on-one mentoring of team and/or leaders. So, again, I don’t have a ton of time to go through this, but one of the things you will find is when you are doing a great job of leading your team, what you find is that you have time to spend one-on-one. They’re not…it doesn’t need to be an hour, sometimes it’s 50 minutes or a half hour that you can mentor your team and/or the leaders.
So I hope this has been helpful for you guys today. Our goal with this is to help you guys put things in place right now to change your leadership, things that you can do right now to get out of overwhelm, to get out of being stuck, to move into your strengths and being more successful and in turn training your team to be more successful. But we also have the opportunity for you guys. If you would like we can do a 60-minute, a free 60-minute strategy session with you to help you get that done, To help you discover all the things that you can do differently to grow your leadership and to grow your business and that’s easy you just go to chrislocurto.com/strategysession and that will get you right in and get your free 60-minute session with us that we can help you to see some of these things. The great thing about that is, while we’re doing this teaching lesson right here, I’m speaking to everybody on these strategies when we talk to you one-on-one a great thing happens. We’re able to focus on what’s going on in your business. So hopefully, everybody has enjoyed that. If you have any questions I believe we’re gonna have a minute or two to answer those as well. So I’m going to turn it back over to Tanner right now.
Tanner: Very good Chris. Wow, tons of good information, tons of good information about worth, delegation, practical steps to delegation. That’s one thing that, you know, typically when you get into leadership seminars and conferences and such, you hear a lot of fluff and fluff has definitely never been a part of you, Chris. And so I appreciate the information shared. I do wanna open it up if there are any questions, I certainly like to address those right now. I will say we’ll be sending out the recording of this session. I know that if you didn’t get a chance, if there was something you missed maybe, you can just watch your email. We will be sending that recording out here over the next few days and you’ll have an opportunity to re-watch this and certainly pick up as much as you possibly can from this.
Thank you so much, Chris. We appreciate you spending so much time with us. I definitely encourage those who did attend or who will be watching this recording later to take advantage of this strategy session as mentioned before. This is definitely something that Consultwebs has taken advantage of multiple times and there’s been no shortage of takeaways. We’ve been able to apply directly to our business which has helped us significantly. It doesn’t appear to be any questions, Chris. Looks like you’ve done a tremendous job of being able to go through all this information. I will say in terms of the delegation piece, certainly one piece of the delegation could be the web marketing and that’s where Consultwebs comes into play. If you all would like a review of your website, we’d be more than happy to provide that as well and you can go to consultwebs.com/analysis to take advantage of that, we’ll be more than happy to help take that off your hands. Chris, thanks again. We appreciate the time.
Chris: Absolutely, my pleasure.
Tanner: All right folks, look forward to the next one around. We’ll hope to see you again.