Proven strategies and exercises to get you delegating and leveraging your way to success.
“If you keep doing the things others can do, you will never get to the things ONLY YOU can do.”
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how you could possibly squeeze one more task onto your list, even one more thing on your abounding plate, you aren’t alone.
Delegation and leverage are two of the most common topics that we evaluate and tackle when working with the top real estate agents, teams, and brokerages we Coach.
The same three burning questions show up time and again:
- How do I get my time back?
- What is the proper way to leverage?
- What should I be delegating?
I have the pleasure of working with Stephanie Lanier, leader of The Lanier Property Group with Intracoastal Realty in Wilmington, NC. In addition to being an incredible leader, Stephanie is also the founder of The Inspiration Lab, an authentic place for women to learn and be inspired by one another.
During a recent edition of The Inspiration Lab’s Real Estate Roundtable, I covered how to Delegate & Leverage Like A Pro (and find some time for self-care in the process). With Stephanie’s group of women leaders, I spoke about the ways top agents delegate, and why being a control freak will make you freaking tired.
You can catch a highlight video here.
I am grateful to work with professionals such as Stephanie and her sales team. As her top-level real estate Coach, I can attest that we’ve made great strides in this department.
Identifying Your Need For Leverage
In order to understand where you may need leverage, the first step is to evaluate YOUR bandwidth and if you have a team, identify the bandwidth of the people around you.
Take into account the activities that are truly growing your businesses, and how others are showing up for your organization (and not procrastinating or anchoring your boat).
I find this to be an interesting perspective on procrastination.
In his book Who Not How, author Dan Sullivan introduces the concept that procrastination is actually a form of Wisdom. It is the psychological phenomenon that occurs when you really want something more for yourself, you just lack the knowledge and capability to do it. You are not the right person to execute the plan to achieve it at this moment.
To increase your bandwidth and leverage, you’ll need a Who that has the required knowledge or capability, because if the Who were you, You wouldn’t be procrastinating.
Instead of dwelling, ask “who can help me with this?” and then ask for the help.
The following exercises will help you to identify your bandwidth AND your need for leverage.
4 Quadrants Exercise
The 4 Quadrants Exercise is designed to help you assess the activities and people within your organization.
Walk through the exercise in 2 minutes. Don’t dwell or think too long. Write what comes to the forefront of your mind.
Approach the exercise through 2 lenses – activities and people. In fact, you can complete the exercise first by thinking of the team members in your organization, and then repeat thinking of the tasks and activities your team performs on a regular basis.
Downloadable Resource: Middleton Elite Coaching – 4 Quadrants Exercise
Performing the 4 Quadrants Exercise will assist you in completing the next exercise;
What To Delegate and What to Keep
Like the previous exercise, this should be completed in 2-3 minutes. Jot down the first things that come to mind.
The three columns on your paper should consist of:
- Things I am good at, like doing, and are worth my $ per hour
- Things I am currently doing, not good at or I do not like doing- potentially procrastinating on these tasks
- Things that I am doing that are NOT worth my $ per hour
BONUS Resource: MEC 3 Columns Exercise – What to Delegate and What To Keep
Related: Watch this short video for an exercise we call “The Bandwidth Exercise”
What To Delegate and What To Keep is a great exercise to complete with your team members in order to better understand their perception of their current role.
Explain to your team that the purpose is to identify areas where you can layer in leverage and will enable you to consider the team member’s perspective for long-term job satisfaction and growth opportunities. The results of this exercise do not necessarily mean you are changing the duties of their job. It is simply a launching point for forward-moving progress.
To complete both of these exercises, tape them to your desk for a week. Every time a task comes to mind or is in front of you to complete, label the tasks in one of the quadrants or columns to generate a list of “Who’s” you need to bring into your world. This will act as the job description for each of those “Who’s”
Now that you have begun to identify the areas you need leverage, let’s look at delegation, or lack thereof.
Don’t Hesitate to Delegate
For many people, there comes a point in our personal and professional lives that we want to prove that we are capable of any challenge and can accomplish anything.
The majority of us, especially women, feel we must prove that we can keep all of the plates spinning at work, at home, in our marriages, and in our friendships; ALL while wearing heels and without smudged lipstick, even if it runs us into the ground.
The only answer is delegation and leverage.
3 Reasons People Don’t Delegate:
There are three primary reasons that you may be hesitant to delegate tasks:
- You are a control freak. (I will admit that I am a control freak!)
- You don’t have a high level of confidence in the skillset of the person to whom you are delegating the task.
- You feel guilty for handing the task off to someone else. You either don’t think it is their job, or you think they wouldn’t appreciate being asked to do the work.
By keeping everything to yourself, you are denying someone else the opportunity to show up in an area of their greatest strengths, and to help you take your business to the next level.
Some people are natural delegators; take my 3 teenage daughters for example. They can delegate any task, typically leaning on my husband and me as their leverage, with no concern for skill, no feeling of guilt.
(This too shall pass.)
Leverage For Balance
The decision to add leverage usually begins with a desire for improved work-life balance.
Ok be ready, I am a sharp pin ready to burst your bubble- there is no work/life balance.
There is life, and then there is everything else we allow to fill the time of life. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when things are running smoother. These are times when we are in the zone. Our sense of accomplishment and balance comes from the effort we had put in days, weeks, and months prior. Much of this effort may have thrown us off-kilter.
Imbalance shows up in the presence of growth.
The way I view work-life balance is similar to physical balance.
Imagine you are standing still with both feet on the ground. This is balance.
However, the second you pick one foot up and begin walking, you are now “off balance.”
It is nearly impossible to move forward or to grow without imbalance somewhere. Forward steps are necessary for growth.
We can grow and be successful with the right leverage in our worlds.
Finding Leverage Where We Can
Leverage can show up in many different ways. It can be simple leverage such as online grocery shopping, hiring a house cleaner, or a transaction coordinator, or outsourcing your marketing.
Both Money and Time are commodities.
Leverage your time so that your priorities take precedent, not the emergency of the hour.
Who Do I Hire, and Where Do I Find Talent?
When considering which level of talent will help you reach the next level, be mindful not to settle for ‘good enough’ because they fall within your “perceived” budget.
When hiring and recruiting talent, I categorize talent in three buckets:
- Potential Talent – lower $$, more time spent training
- Emerging Talent – mid $$ and moderate time spent training
- Proven Talent – higher $$ and less time spent training and educating
At a minimum, a full-time hire should bring you the equIvalent of 1-2 deals per month in either increased income or increased time.
I ALWAYS encourage my clients to “hire up”.
The new talent must know more than you in their area of expertise, or they will only ever know as much as you, based on your current level of training.
When you ‘hire up’ to the top level of talent, you are likely over-paying (based on your budget) for this talent. When you over pay for something, you expect results and are willing to cut ties if they aren’t showing up and being accountable.
The Who For Your Business
When the time is right to add leverage to your business with a talented hire, ask yourself – ”Who?”.
Who have I met that I would love to be in business with?
Even if they are already working somewhere else, CALL THEM. Pitch your opportunity to them and end the conversation with – “If not YOU, then WHO?”
Just because they are working somewhere else, doesn’t mean they are happy with their current arrangement or aren’t open to a new opportunity.
- Determine the detailed criteria of the role
- Post on job sites like WizeHire, Linkedin, and Indeed (Pay for the ad placement)
- Commit the time for extensive interviews– don’t hire out of desperation
Middleton Elite Coaching and WizeHire have partnered to offer you a discount when you sign up. Start saving here.
BONUS Resource: Add leverage with Middleton Elite Coaching’s Sample Interview Questions
The Key To Success In Delegation and Leverage
The key to success with leverage is ACCOUNTABILITY.
While we all like to think we are self-accountable, how accountable would you really be without someone standing over you, pushing you and continuing to share the vision of the organization?
It is not enough to make a great hire. There must be accountability for the role. Accountability doesn’t exist without clearly defined metrics.
Set job-specific metrics and goals that define the roles within your organization. Review them often.
In his book The Game Of Work, author Charles Coonradt discusses the art of enjoying work as much as play. There is a wonderful example relating work to recreation, and how to motivate and inspire your team the way a great coach inspires their team.
Ensuring Leverage Success
Feedback often only shows up after the fact, and only evaluates the lagging indicators. By then it is too late to do anything about the result.
How will you know if you are showing up for your team, and if your team is showing up for you?
Talk to them.
I am a firm believer in the Morning Huddle. The Morning Huddle is an opportunity to spend 10 minutes or less with your team.
During the Morning Huddle, I’ll cover 4 things with each member of my team:
- What are your priorities for today?
- What are the results from your priorities yesterday?
- What support do you need from me to win your day?
- What I need from you today to win my day.
Hold your Morning Huddle for the purpose of covering the tasks of the day, saving other measurables for your weekly team meetings.
We cover the Morning Huddle in depth in our recent article – How To Lead Great Meetings
Set your leverage up for success.
When we are thinking of a bigger future, the question we often ask is “How am I going to accomplish this?” When the better question is “Who can help me achieve this?” – Who Not How
There are many ways to incorporate the RIGHT talent into your business. If you look at any winning sports team or business, it always starts with hiring the right Coach. Schedule your complimentary exploratory call with Middleton Elite Coaching and let us help find your “Who’s”