I’ve been working with a client now for the last four or five years. All of their people are professional services people and they work with clients on a daily basis. I’ve been talking to them about getting people doing the right things at the right levels and the challenge they have is they always say “You know what? It’s much easier to do it myself.”
What’s happening in their practice is that because they’ve got high skilled people doing lower skilled work they’re not charging what they need to and ultimately it’s making them less money.
So the way I explain it to them is that the reason people do things that they shouldn’t be doing is because they don’t get the pay-off immediately.
I’m talking about the leverage payoff, and how you can apply it to your business.
Just in the last three months I’ve finally given up the lawn-mowing at home and it took me a long time to realise that actually, it’s something I can do, it’s something I enjoy, because I’m a country boy originally and I love getting in the garden, and I love the finished result because it’s tangible. I think a lot of people have components of those three things in their work where when they do them they actually give them a lot of joy and it’s something they CAN do but the question is: Should they do it? And is it getting them the result they want?
The reason people hold onto things is firstly how they make them feel but second because the payoff doesn’t happen straight away.
There’s two main mindsets here around peoples’ thinking that stop them from letting things go.
The first one is the classic of “Well.. In many cases it’s easier to do it myself.”
Does that sound familiar? It’s easier, right?! You can just get onto it straight away, you don’t have to take the time to explain it to the person, who often doesn’t get your explanation, has to ask again.
The second mindset which is more difficult to change but also has the same impact is the difficulty you have to trust the person to do it the way that you need it done, and to do it at the quality that you need it done.
Both of these factors prevent us from taking things that we’re doing and giving them to someone who can potentially do them better than we can.
The reason we don’t is because this is what happens…
When we start the process of delegation or building leverage (having people doing things at scale that we could do ourselves) is that what happens often with our productivity is initially it goes down. Right? It goes down below where it was before, because we’re having to spend more time teaching people, systematising what we’re doing, and coaching them.
If you look at this process over twelve months, it can take six months before that dip starts to turn around. During that time you’re working through problems with that person, you’re helping them do it in a way that you’re happy with so you’re building trust.
Ultimately what happens over time is that productivity takes a big jump up – this is YOUR OWN productivity – because you could do it yourself, but now you’ve got someone else doing it so it leaves you space for more strategic activities.
The leverage payoff says that in the short term, yes, it costs you more to give something up, but in the long term it pays off massively in terms of your own productivity.
There are three decisions you need to make around the things that you want to let go.
First is: Do I need to delegate it to someone else? And who do I delegate it to? Here’s a link to my delegation model around how to do it.
Second is: What do I outsource? What could I get done by someone who’s a a specialist in an area at a lower rate than I do at the moment?
The third is: some things just need to be done by humans, so what other humans could do it for me?
To summarise: Delegating tasks and creating leverage in your practice or your business doesn’t payoff straight away. The reason we don’t do is because we don’t get that immediate payoff.
If you want to build a long term sustainable successful business, going through that six month curve of systematising, coaching and teaching someone to do it for you will increase your productivity in the end.
The three things you need to decide in your business are…
*What do you delegate? *What do you outsource? And *what do you need humans to do?
If you ask yourself those questions and answer those questions ultimately you’ll be doing things you love and have a more productive day.
Talk to you soon.