A couple of weeks ago I was speaking with one of my clients, Robert.
Now Robert is the Managing Partner in a 7-partner firm and in our conversation, we started talking about how I run my accountancy practice in as little as 3 hours per week.
Robert said to me…
“Rudi, you run an accountancy practice with over 10 team members. And on top of that, you run a coaching business where you coach your clients on a weekly basis and take regular holidays throughout the year. How do you get it all done?”
The answer, which is one of the most important skills you can learn as a business owner, is delegation.
If you are serious about…
- Growing & scaling your practice,
- Spending more time working ON it, not stuck working IN it, and
- Ultimately one day achieving freedom (whatever that means for you)
… then you absolutely need to start delegating and letting things go.
So, what are some of the reasons and objections why practice owners struggle so much with letting go?
Over the years I’ve heard them all.
I’ve also had to get over these myself on my own delegation journey.
This list is not exhaustive, I’m sure there are many other reasons why people choose not to delegate and let go….
But here are some of the more frequent ones, along with my thoughts on how to get around it.
1. “I can do it faster myself”
Yes, at this point in time you probably can. But if you are serious about pulling yourself out from the ‘doing’ part of your practice, then you need to start letting go.
There will always be a ‘puppy training’ period when you delegate. Give it time, stick with it, and eventually people will be able to do it just as quick as you (or maybe even faster…)
2. “What if they make costly mistakes?”
The chances are they will make mistakes the first couple of times. But that’s fine.
Did you get things perfect the first time you do them? Probably not. So don’t expect the same of others.
Give people feedback, help them understand where the mistakes are and eventually they’ll get it right.
3. “But I enjoy doing accounts & tax returns…”
Believe it or not, I’ve heard this one a few times.
If you enjoy doing something, then it makes it that much harder to let it go.
But you have to ask yourself this question – “Could my time be better spent/more valuable if I was to let this go?”
The chances are it probably can…
4. “Nobody can do it like I do…”
Perhaps right now they can’t. But with the right amount of time, training and systemising, there’s no reason other people can’t do it the same or even better than you.
Stop playing the game of “I’ve got a big ego” and creating arbitrary benchmarks that people will never be able to hit.
5. “The clients only want to deal with me. I’m the face of the practice”
I hear this one quite often when practice owners begin to delegate clients to their managers etc.
And it’s definitely one of the trickier ones to navigate…
But with the right amount of expectation management and customer service from your managers, there’s no reason that this can’t be done.
Delegation > Management by abdication
One of the things I hear quite often from practice owners when I mention delegation goes something like this:
“I delegate all the time. But my team still never get around to doing it. So I’m better just doing it myself”.
But when we actually look into what’s happened, they haven’t delegated at all. What they’ve actually done, is abdicate.
When you delegate to someone, you give them the responsibility of doing it, but you also stay in the loop to make sure that a) they’ve done it and b) they understand fully how to do it.
On the other hand, when you abdicate something, you give them the responsibility and then disappear forever.
Abdicating is easy, but it yields poor results.
Where are you on your delegation journey?
If you want to transition from an accountant to a business owner, and spend less time stuck in the ‘doing’ part of your practice, then mastering delegation is absolutely essential.
Where are you on your delegation journey? Have you completely mastered it? What challenges/issues are you currently facing with it?
Let me know in the comments below.