Know Who To Delegate To

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I talk a lot about Mark Twain's quote of eating the frog first. However, his actual quote is this, “if you will eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” I’ve got to say that he's right. If I ate a live frog first thing in the morning, what worse could happen?

I often challenge you to listen to my videos, follow my podcast, connect on Instagram, or read my articles. In all of those platforms, you hear me talk a lot about making yourself do those things you wouldn't normally do. I say to start on a very practical level first thing every day and then on a bigger macro-level. I am constantly pushing myself because I want to grow, and I want to get better. I'm going to eat the frogs first. I want the results, but results don't come in until I do the difficult things required to get those results.

We also talk a lot about delegating. I talk to you about delegating because I believe in it. I think if you're going to grow your company, if you're going to grow your ministry, if you want your influence to grow, you've got to surround yourself with other people. You’ve got to build a team, which requires you to delegate. The problem is if you're not intentional, you will delegate to the wrong people. You'll go at it the wrong way, and it can backfire.

So I want to talk to you today about when delegating backfires. I want to discuss how you make sure that doesn’t happen in your life, in your ministry, in your company, or in your life work. When delegation backfires, you end up having to carry all the weight. You end up having to pick up or clean up the mess. You end up taking things back, and you have more problems on your hands than if you would have just done it yourself. Many people get burnt in the process of delegating because at some point in their past they choose they are not going to delegate anymore, they are just going to do it all by himself or herself; that's not right. You need to be a smart delegator.

I'd love to take the credit for these four points I’m about to share with you, but I can't. These four points came from Andy Stanley. He has four steps for when you delegate. When you find someone that you think can help you, you need to go through these four steps. Here’s the thing, you don't find somebody and just hand them everything; you don’t say, “here is the key, run with this whole thing.” You don't know them, so you have to make sure that you are a smart delegator.

Andy says it starts, number one, with the process of investigating. You find someone, and then you give them an assignment to investigate into, requiring them to report back. If nothing ever gets reported back, guess what? That's a good sign that this isn't probably the kind of person you are going to delegate much to, at least important things. What happens if you give a project and you ask them to investigate, and they come right back? They come back when they say they're going to, and they come back with what you've asked plus more. That is when you are ready to go to the next level with that person. Phase 1 or step one is to investigate.

Step two is informed progress. In other words, give them a job, but don’t give it to them entirely. You want them to report back every couple of days. You will want them to report back once a week, and let you know how things are progressing. This gives you a chance to step in if needed. It also gives you a chance to give advice or counsel or to redirect because you’re not trusting them with the entire process. They are reporting back on their progress, so this is informed progress, step two.

Now if they do really well with this and with that informed progress, then take them to level three; that is informed results. Andy Stanley says, informed results is when you trust them to investigate, and you trust them with the progression of getting things done, but you want them to get back with you and inform you on the results.You want them to tell you how things are going. You don’t need to hold their hand every other day or week, but you want to know when they’re done how did it go. You want them to let you know what worked and what didn't: informed results.

Finally, step four of delegating is ownership. That is when somebody has made it through all three steps, and they have proven that they are capable, that they are trustworthy, that they understand your heart, your stance, the way you like things to be done, they understand the end goal, so now you decide to make them an owner. This is when you know you trust them; they have proven himself or herself to you and because of that, they are an owner in process.

Don't make the mistake of wanting to build a ministry or build a brand or launch a product, then you find someone and immediately make them an owner. No, they need to prove themselves out to you. You need to get to know each other; you need to understand how each of you think and how you work. Once they have proven they can investigate, they can inform you on the progress, and they can inform you on the results, then they become an owner.

If you really want to take your ministry or your organization to a new level, if you want to go to a new level as a leader, you've got to build a team around you with people to delegate to. Constantly be looking for people. Here’s an “eat the frog first”; who this week can you find to delegate to? Who is it you can start building some relationships with? Who can you ask to join your team? Don't wait for people to come to you, you’ve got to go to them. Too many of us sit back and wait for people to come and knock on our door; they're not going to do that. You've got to find them. You’ve got to go out and build relationships. You need to equip people on your team to go build relationships and find people that you can delegate to.

Learn to delegate. You’ve heard it said that many hands make light work; you need this. If you do it all yourself, you're going to burn out. You're going to get tired; you're going to dry up. You and only you have so many hours in a day. You're going to find yourself hitting your capacity really quick, so build a team. Build a team.

Your #1 fan,


Ryan Frank