How Important Is Your Time?
When you delegate tasks as a business leader, you effectively free up the most valuable asset your business has: your time. Mastering the art of delegation makes it possible to continually focus on your personal strengths and what’s most important to leading your business. If your goal is to do great things and have a big impact or try to solve the world’s biggest problems, you need to work at it every day and you can’t do it alone. A good leader must be willing to hire the right people and delegate authority.
We’ve covered the things you should look for in an executive assistant, but if you need a refresh on the benefits of delegation, just remember this famous quote from Richard Branson: “You need to learn to delegate so that you can focus on the big picture.”
This is part of our philosophy at Virgin: We aren’t limited by the skills of the people on our team, but also employ hundreds of agencies, contractors and freelancers.
We work with website developers, aircraft manufacturers, call-centre operators, service suppliers and many other wonderful third-party providers. Over the past 40 years, they have helped us to grow our brand to the point where it is now, and we wouldn’t be able to function without them.Richard Branson on delegation, via Virgin.com
By delegating tasks and responsibilities to capable team members, you not only free up your own time but also empower your team and allow them to develop their skills and expertise.
This ultimately leads to a more productive and efficient organization, as everyone is working towards their strengths and goals. So, don’t be afraid to delegate and trust in your team’s abilities. Together, you can achieve great things and make a positive impact on the world.
Learn What It Means To Be A Business Leader With These 10 Inspirational Delegation Quotes
1. Randy Pausch
“Here’s what I know: Time must be explicitly managed, like money. You can always change your plan, but only if you have one. Ask yourself: Are you spending your time on the right things? Develop a good filing system. Rethink the telephone. Delegate. Take a time out. Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.”Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
2. Andy Stanley
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people.Andy Stanley
3. Tim Ferriss
Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient?Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
4. Douglas McGregor
Delegation means that he will concern himself with the results of their activities and not with the details of their day-to-day performance. This requires a degree of confidence in them which enables him to accept certain risks. Unless he takes these risks there will be no delegation.Douglas McGregor
5. James D. Mooney
Failure to delegate causes managers to be crushed and fail under the weight of accumulated duties that they do not know and have not learned to delegate.James D. Mooney
6. Richard Branson
From a young age, I learned to focus on the things I was good at and delegate to others what I was not good at. That’s how Virgin is run. Fantastic people throughout the Virgin Group run our businesses, allowing me to think creatively and strategically.Richard Branson
7. Oprah Winfrey
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.Oprah Winfrey
8. James Altucher
I find that many entrepreneurs are trying to do everything when it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to delegate, even if there are monetary costs associated with that.James Altucher
9. Jessica Jackley
As all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay or skip the rest.Jessica Jackley
10. Anthea Turner
The first rule of management is delegation. Don’t try and do everything yourself because you can’t.Anthea Turner
How Do You Know When To Delegate?
Try to delegate the non-technical and non-specialized things that take the most time and mental effort. For example, email management, scheduling, expense reporting, travel booking, todo list and task management, and employee onboarding are all non-technical tasks that take a lot of time. These are common things people delegate. However, your specific list is going to depend on your unique situation.
Delegate Responsibility, Responsibly
What you can delegate is dependent on the skill-level of the assistant you’ve hired. Some assistants are great problem solvers and have the organizational skills needed to manage entire teams in pursuit of your strategic goals. Others require lots of hand-holding and micromanagement, and even step-by-step instructions. This is why it’s important for you to get clear on what your needs are, so you can choose what level of assistant you need.
How To Create A Delegation Task List
1. Perform a calendar audit.
Go to your calendar and write out all the different things you do in a given week. Next to each item write out how long each task takes.
2. Cross out the things that only you can do.
Go through your list, item by item, and ask yourself whether you’re the only person who can do the task. If the task is particularly technical or requires knowledge that only you have, cross it out.
3. Delegate the most time consuming tasks that someone else can do.
After you’re left with a list of tasks that someone else can do, order them according to how much time they require and delegate the most time-consuming ones first. Frame success in clear terms, and spell out any tricky parts of the task, what to do if they run into problem areas, and your ultimate objectives.
How Do Executive Assistants Add Value?
Executive Assistants add value by freeing up time for the team and business people they support. From managing email to scheduling meetings, the right assistant with eliminate distractions and let you focus on your business (or your personal life). The best executive assistants can automate many common tasks, as well, which can open up many new possibilities.
One of the main reasons entrepreneurs make the mistake of hesitating to hire an assistant is because they’re afraid of the costs. But delegating time consuming and mentally draining tasks to an assistant is often the difference between startup success and failure.
We only have so much time and mental energy each day. The question is not “how expensive is an executive assistant?”, but “how expensive is it for me to not have an executive assistant?”.
How Do You Find Good Executive Assistants?
Great assistants are detail oriented, reliable, clear communicators, and great at problem solving. Finding assistants who are all these things is hard. You can post jobs on LinkedIn and other job boards in search of someone who fits this description. Or you can look on a site like Upwork or Fiverr. But the most reliable way to find a great assistant is by using an executive assistant service like Persona.
What Kinds Of Tasks Can An Executive Assistant Automate?
The tasks that assistants can automate are as varied as the industries they operate in.
Here’s a sample of what’s possible:
- Email management
- Calendar management
- Appointment setting
- Expense reporting
- Expense tracking
- Project management
- Social media management
- Social media content creation
- File management and organization
- Online purchases
- Travel planning
- Shopify, Amazon, and e-commerce
- Booking flights and hotels
- Market research and analysis
- Lead generation
- Cold outreach
- Email list management
- Posting ads on Facebook
- Posting ads on Google
- Posting ads on TikTok
- Posting ads on YouTube
- Note taking
- Meeting minutes
- Event planning
- Content writing
- Report writing
- Workflow management
- Data entry
- Data management
The list goes on and on.
Does Every CEO Need An Executive Assistant?
Yes. Every CEO that values their time and the success of their organization need to hire an executive assistant. Hiring a competent assistant is key to focusing on your strengths and working on the most important, strategic projects for your business.
Great Business Leaders Master The Art Of Delegation
The right executive assistant will help you figure out what to delegate, and what you should do yourself. The goal of every executive assistant is helping their executive focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day.
One of the main reasons people fail at delegation is because they don’t hire someone qualified to delegate to. You can’t just hire any virtual assistant or personal assistant. You need someone who’s smart, detail oriented, professional, responsible, reliable, and a great communicator.
Successful companies and managers get burried in new tasks and to-dos faster than they can do them. Delegation is a necessary skill. If you don’t delegate, you won’t have enough time to focus on what matters and build a great product, company, or startup. Hiring an assistant can be the difference between startup success and failure.
Delegation Is The First Rule Of Management For A Reason
Richard Branson discovered what a powerful thing delegation was at an early age. And he credits his success in business to understanding that great leaders delegate accordingly so they can focus on the key skills that drive business growth.
When done correctly, delegation can be a powerful tool for leaders. It allows them to focus on the crucial tasks and projects that only they can do, and it empowers other team members to grow and take on more responsibility. Delegation is the simple act of giving someone else responsibility over a task, so you can free up your time to work on something else.
Delegation doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility and assigning all your work to others. The key to successful delegation is to pick the right tasks, assign them to the right people, and to give them the appropriate level of responsibility.
Delegating to an executive assistant can be the difference between a good entrepreneur and a great one.
Every great leader knows that they can’t do everything themselves, and delegation is one of a few small things that separates a great business leader from a bad one. Delegating works because it forces you to focus on your key sills. It pushes you to give others in your organization more responsibility and ownership, so that you’re no longer a bottleneck. George Patton talked about this when he said you should “force responsibility down and out”. He understood that an organization’s greatest strength is its ability to make good decisions quickly, and this is only possible when responsibility and judgement is delegated effectively.
Preparation meeting opportunity
Practicing delegation is the ultimate way to set yourself up for top performance when company changing projects come your way. Only by exercising the delegation muscle can you feel comfortable letting go of key responsibilities during critical, make or break junctures.
Hopefully these quotes on delegation have helped you. If you learn how to effectively delegate tasks you create, you’ll be able to accelerate your productivity and company’s growth. The art of delegation is what separates great founders and executives from the rest.
Delegation is also the best way for company executives to create leaders. While many people want to create followers, the best executives understand that by delegating responsibilities and critical projects to others, they can grow the capabilities of their team members and build a stronger organization.
When someone you’ve delegated to does well, give them all the credit. For certain team members, you may need to add structure to your requests, but that’s just part of the growth and development process. Over time, they’ll be able to run with tasks and projects that are less and less clearly laid out.