When we don't understand what people's strengths and development areas, well, then it's going to be impossible to delegate stuff. It's going to be impossible to know who we really have in place to take some of these things off our plate because we actually don't have an answer to that question.
Welcome to the managing made simple podcast, where I bring a decade of experience working in some of the most influential companies in tech to help you navigate the ins and outs of being a people manager from conflicts to feedback, to delegating and more. We will leave no stone unturned when it comes to what makes us love managing kind of hate it and everything in between.
Doesn't matter if you're a new manager looking for some tips or a seasoned manager looking to up their game, everyone is welcome to hang out with managing made simple. Let's go. Welcome back to the show. Today we are talking about something that happens to the best of us, happens to all of us. I would say at some point is we hire team members.
We really, really, really want to offload things. We want people who focus on stuff. And we're still kind of doing most of the stuff ourself. Now, I know that this happens to most of us because it's what I've talked about with so many business owners, so many managers that I've worked with, I've freaking experienced it myself, where you wanna let go, you really, really, really, really do, but you just can't.
And this can show up in any kind of business, any kind of team. I think really, really most predominantly, when we are hiring people to do a task or job, that's something that we've done in the past. That's where it's really hard to let go. But it can happen with responsibilities really in any capacity and to figure out, well, how do we solve this?
How do we stop holding on to everything? Let's first look at, well, why do we feel this way? And I think there's a few reasons that really stand out. First, when we are holding on to a lot of the work, it's often because it's in our comfort zone. Right. We started the business or we became a leader. We rose up the ranks because we were good at doing this task.
We were good at doing the job. We were crushing it. We were rocking it. We were, we were doing an amazing job. And so that thing got a lot easier. And so we can actually do it faster. Take, for example, if you are a designer and you're used to really, you know, putting together great presentations for clients and you can make it really, really quickly.
You're the creative director. Now you own the agency. But, you know exactly what you want to put in there, you know exactly how you want to make the points, you know exactly how you want to organize it, that's easy for you. But, when we have team members, they don't really get an opportunity to learn any of that if we're like, hey, I'm just going to do the presentation myself each time.
So the first reason is, these, these things are in our comfort zone, and we're good at them, so they are faster. So it can feel like I, it's actually optimized for me to keep doing it. But, I'm going to get into why it's a problem in a minute. So that's the first reason. I think the second is a tough one to acknowledge, but we maybe don't trust our team members yet.
Or we recognize there's a skill gap that, well, you know, I have to give the client pitch because I don't have someone that's as good at sales as me, or I don't have someone that can really communicate the vision of our brand or how I'm going to really help solve their problem. And I don't have time to train people because we're moving so fast.
I don't have time to wait for people to ramp up. So I'm going to keep doing that thing. And I, I know we don't always like to say this is a trust issue, but it really is. Uh, it doesn't mean we don't like our team members, but we don't actually trust that they can do it yet without some sort of, again, is it a training?
Is it a ramp up time? Is it a coaching mentorship? So that's the second one, that, that people, we don't think that they're really ready. Now, the third one, and I think this is probably the most common, even again, if we don't acknowledge it, is that we're not good at delegating. And I talk a lot about delegating on this show.
I talk a lot about expectation setting because it's something that can sneak up on you as a manager and a business owner, people leader, that, that we don't realize how much it's getting in the way. And what I mean by not being great at delegating is. We maybe made a list of things we want to offload and we're still kind of keeping a piece of those, or we sent that list to someone else and it's really unclear what they're supposed to do or what the expectations are.
So we think we delegated it, but there's really no plan in place of how that's going to look. And, and I think the bad at delegating is the one that gets us the most in trouble. Because it's hard to recognize our own responsibility in the problem. We think we've actually offloaded something, and we haven't.
So it can look like the team member didn't get it, or it's something on their end. It's actually our fault that we didn't delegate it right. So if you're finding team members coming back with a lot of questions once you've delegated something, or, um, things aren't quite landing, or you're feeling like you have to keep checking in, Head on back to episode 65, Three Steps to Delegating, because you're gonna want to make sure you're doing these things before you decide, well, my team members, they don't just, they just don't get it.
We want to make sure we've covered our own stuff before we start pointing fingers at others. Now, the issue though, I would say, is even if... We're struggling to let things go because we're not great at delegating. The problem is the signal that we send to our team members is that we don't trust them. And when our team members feel like we don't trust them, then they start wondering, why am I here?
Why am I working for you? I have no autonomy. I can't take things on. I've asked for stuff, right? We go all to those things that I talked about in episode 63 about being a micromanager. When our team members feel like we don't trust them, we start to really chip away at motivation, engagement. So if you're struggling to let things go, it's something that you're going to want to solve right now, right away, because when it starts to chip away at that engagement motivation, that ends up slowing work down.
It ends up costing you more time and money to solve the problem. And you might even lose team members along the way. Okay. And there's nothing more expensive than high turnover on a team because you spend so much time recruiting and interviewing and looking for people and ramping them up and getting them really ready to go.
If they walk out the door a couple months later because they felt like, well, I can't even do anything in this job. That is a huge, huge loss. So getting people up and running, feeling autonomy, feeling set up for success, that is your number one priority. So let's talk about how to solve this, how to let some of that go, how to not do everything yourself.
Okay. So the first thing that I think we want to do is to take an honest look at the work we are doing every single day or every week. And figure out what do you really, really, really have to be doing versus what could you be delegating if you had the right people in place? Now I say that caveat because I know you may not have the right people in place today, right?
We talked about the issues like maybe we feel like there is a skill gap and yeah, I can't offload this stuff today. But what could you foresee yourself delegating if you had the right people? If you had people trained up or, or, you know, you were able to make some key hires or, or bring on an agency or whatever that looks like.
Because taking an honest look at, well, what do I have to be doing versus what could I let go of that's going to start to let you loosen up the reins a bit. Take for example, I have a client that runs a med spa and she's the business owner and also administers a lot of services. And right now it's working really well.
She gets to understand what the clients are looking for. She has great relations with her clients. It's helped her train up her staff. And at the same time that service delivery, that's an example of a task that she could offload eventually is really train up great staff so that she feels like she could let go of that part of it.
That's an example. And so right now she's doing a great job. She's liking it. That serves her and her business. But again, that's not something she has to do forever. Now example of what only she would be doing is thinking about the strategy for scaling, for opening up new locations, really what are the company priorities?
That's the things that she maybe wouldn't want to offload. So you see, there are things that maybe we do right now that we don't have to do forever, but we want to really be able to discern between what they are and what they're not. So that when we look at a long term hiring strategy, we can figure out, well, who would we really need to be able to free up more time for ourself?
So one of the biggest places I see business owners spending a lot of extra time and money is being involved in too many decisions. And that's why with the ops playbook program, the first place we start is auditing that business owner's workload. Where are they involved in too many decisions? Where are they in the weeds too far?
Because this is going to be a great place. We can carve out five, 10 hours every single week to be reinvesting that business. And when I say I can save business owners about 30 hours a month, a huge, huge portion of that comes from their own time that they are reinvesting into where they should be spending their time as opposed to where they're just spending it by default because they hadn't really looked at it.
Or maybe they needed to do a bunch of things at when their business was at one stage, but now it's grown and evolved and they've hired folks. So now they have to shift their focus somewhere else. So if you're interested in saving that 30 hours every single month by streamlining your team operations, let me know.
I have three spots for October left, and I'd love to help you out. Email me at hello at leahgarvin. com with the subject playbook, and let's do this. Alright, second thing we do to get ourselves out of this trap of doing everything ourselves and derailing motivation on our team, right, that's the consequence of it, is we want to take inventory of our team members and map out their strengths and development areas.
This is management 101, but when we've grown really quickly or folks have shifted in different roles, or we have been really focused on something and we're kind of back to looking at our team, sometimes a lot of time has passed where you haven't really taken stock of what are people good at, what are the development areas, where do I want to be putting people to really help them lean into their strengths, and when we don't understand what people's strengths and development areas, well then it's going to be impossible to delegate stuff.
It's going to be impossible to know Who we really have in place to take some of these things off our plate because we actually don't have an answer to that question. So we want to look at our team. Where are folks at today? What are they great at? If we don't know what folks are great at, what are the kind of conversations that we have to have with them to tease that out?
Do we need to sit down with them and have a one on one? Do we need to collect feedback from peers? Do we need to observe them in their work? Do we need to collect feedback from folks who have worked with them? Okay, this will give us some insights. With that understanding, we look at, well, what are the gaps?
What are things that can be solved with some coaching or training or mentorship versus where do we actually need new roles to be filled? And a lot of times we make the mistake in a small team or a small business of thinking, Oh, someone can wear multiple hats. Someone can kind of do this role most of the week.
And then this other role. And that's the case for some people, not the case for everyone. What's really, really helpful. And it's outlined in this book, the E myth, which is an awesome book for entrepreneurs. To actually write out job descriptions for every single role that your business needs to have. I would say if you're a manager in the corporate world, do the same.
Write out a job description for every single role that would be really ideal to have on your team so that you understand the coverage and then map people to, well, where are these roles filled versus where are they not? When you do this, you start to see, is this just a sort of small set of tasks that someone could take on versus is this an entire job that I really need a full time person to be filling?
When we're just guessing and thinking people can pinch hit and cover things here and there, a lot of times we overextend people with too much work on their plate, or we overextend people with work that is not in their zone of genius, that's not in their strengths, that is something that they either have no skills in or not a lot of competency in, and then we wonder why they're not successful.
By mapping this out, understanding what are our team members strengths and development areas and also doing the exercise of knowing what are the different roles that I need to fill here and looking at all of that together, that's going to give you a sense of who do you have in place and who do you need in place, where can folks take on a little bit more, and where do you need to hire on additional people.
And that brings us to step three. And step three is one, I think you knew I was going to say it, you knew I was going to do it. Delegate. We delegate what we can, setting clear expectations and a huge piece of this, especially if you have recognized you have been in the stuck place of doing everything yourself, it's really helpful to speak candidly with your team members about any reservations you had.
Saying, hey, this is something that I've done for a really long time. I mentioned, you know, as that creative director, maybe you designed the client template in a certain way. Like, saying, hey, I found that the way that we pitch to clients is really effective in this way. I'd love to keep using the gist of this format for a while.
I want to offload it to you, but can we use this as a starting point? Set clear expectations of what you want to see. There was nothing wrong with that, but delegating, it does mean letting go. And it can be hard. Again, if the thing that you're doing was really in your comfort zone, it's the thing that made your business successful.
It's the thing that accelerated your career. If it's something like that, that's going to make it real hard to let it go. And part of being a leader is doing that. So you got to figure that stuff out. You really do because leading is not doing everything yourself. Leading is not having everybody do everything your way.
It's about setting a direction and empowering others. Again, if you are stuck with being worried, you don't have the right folks in place or not really sure how to let it go, get some support for yourself. This stuff doesn't come second nature to everyone. And actually the real leaders, the awesome leaders, the most prolific leaders are ones that get support knowing, Hey, this isn't my strength.
I want to really make sure I'm supporting my team in the best way. That's why I have the Ops Playbook program is because we don't just figure this stuff out ourselves. We don't. And when you get support, someone sitting there in your corner saying, Hey, let's map out how we get from where we are today to where we want to be in 6 to 12 months.
And someone that has that process mindset, which is me, thinks about, okay, how to make it simple, how to make it clear, how to make it easier, and shares that with your team, showing them why this is going to help them achieve their goals. Now you have everybody bought in. So again, if you're listening to this and saying, I want to do it.
I just don't know how get help. I'd love to support you. First step is a free strategy call where we just dive into where are you feeling stuck? Where do things feel like they could be a little bit more smooth. I offer a few strategies like we talk about on this show, very specific to your team. to help getting things humming along.
If you want that free strategy call, go to my website, LiaGarvin.com and click any of those buttons and let's chat. See you next time. That's all I have for today. Thank you so much for tuning in to the managing made simple podcast, where my goal is to demystify the job of people management so that together we can make the workplace somewhere everyone can thrive.
I always love to hear from you. So please reach out at Liaarvin.com or message me on LinkedIn. See you next time.