Let it Go
It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end! To me, Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end to summer, and it’s a bittersweet time of year. Our warm, sunny days are slowly diminishing until next year, and yet the beginning of the school year brings renewed productivity for many business owners!
As I reflect on all the changes my clients and I have made in our businesses this summer, I am truly amazed at what we’ve accomplished! In June, I grew my team. In July, we focused on training and implementing systems for task and project management, as well as sharing and organizing files. I know you’ve got plenty of successes to celebrate as well!
For me, the month of August was spent learning the most critical delegation lesson of all – letting go. As my team became more confident in their work, I was able to spend increasingly more time doing business development activities and meeting with clients and prospects, which I love! The challenge was that I was still the bottleneck in the day-to-day operations of my business. I kept myself in the middle of all communications between my team and clients. No work was done without me transferring information between the two parties. I also kept reviewing and approving all work before it was posted online or sent to a client. While this was important during the training phase, there was no need for me to continue doing this long after my team proved themselves more than capable time and time again.
I needed to get out of my team’s way and let them shine! I made two critical changes:
1. I created email accounts for them to work directly with my clients. This was a big step for me – not because I didn’t trust my team, but because I’ve been working with my clients exclusively for years. I was worried that my long-time clients would feel uncomfortable if anyone besides me contacted them.
2. I now enter all tasks and projects directly into our project management system and divide them up between our team according to our capacities and skillsets. I used to take notes during client meetings on pads of paper or in Word documents, and then comb through all the information and input tasks into the system. This was a duplication of effort, not to mention the cause of various time delays.
I’m still a work in progress, but I hope that sharing my own delegation lessons are helpful for you in your own journey!
Celebrating the last days of summer,