The Challenge of Delegating

In the book, The Winning Way, co-authored with Brian Tracy, I described three key attributes for good leaders — Communicate, Calculate and Delegate.  It is interesting that this week I was faced with situations where clients were experiencing challenges all related delegation-400x275to letting go and allowing their team take on the responsibility and ability to get the job done.

Delegation — the act of passing a task or responsibility along to others, most commonly to people who are below you on the totem pole.

Delegation isn’t just a top down action.  In fact, delegation happens in all directions.  for example, my clients delegate projects and responsibility to me as their consultant (external delegation), a committee may delegate action items to specific departments or positions within an organization. Delegation happens between colleagues and collaborating departments too. When teams, from the leader on down, are engaged and share in the goals and vision of an organization, delegation is a fundamental component and can be a “make-it or break-it” facet of the results achieved.

I recently hired a new virtual assistant and I have been in the process of letting go of tasks I’ve been doing over the past few months.  This involves a change of thinking and planning.  My VA is eager to take on whatever I’ll send her way.  She’s also eager to assume role that offers me more value, and saves me time and effort.  What’s stopping me … bad habits!  Yes, its true.  I’m so used to just doing it all that I forget to delegate.

This week was a pivot point for us. My failure to effectively delegate was stopping both of us from being successful!  A great conversation where we shared, clarified and planned our next steps opened new doors.  My “aha” including the realization that I wasn’t  afraid my V.A. couldn’t do the job correctly.  Instead,  it was a failure to communicate what was in my head when I realized something needed to be done.

Do you delegate what and when you should, or do you fall prey to the common trap of “if I do it myself it will be done right”  or only delegate tasks you don’t like doing?

Delegation, when done right will enhance morale, build trust and facilitate success for yourself, your team and your organization.

 

Ignite Leadership has many solutions to develop stronger leadership and better teams.  Contact us to explore how our solutions may help you improve delegation, communication, leadership and team dynamics.

 

 

Your Numbers Tell a Story

Fiscal Year End…
We all face this fact of business whether we want to or not.  I have been working on my year end for the past few days.  No major surprises, no gasps or frustrations.  Why?  I have made tracking my financial results a weekly routine.

 

Do your Numbers Cause you Stress?
In my book “The Winning Way“, I share three key attributes for good leaders.  Knowing your numbers was one of those attributes!  Why?  Your numbers tell you how you are doing and can provide great feedback when you are looking ahead.

 

I regularly work with entrepreneurs and businesses who are “financially challenged”.  In other words, they avoid their books (accounting records) because they
  • don’t like what they seeBudget Expenses
  • don’t understand what the numbers mean
  • don’t have a good record keeping system so they can’t track them if they wanted to.
If you feel this way you are not alone.  Having acknowledged this fact doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.  When you put your head in the sand your fiscal responsibilities and the numbers won’t go away.

 

End the Number Phobia

I encourage you to eliminate the numbers fear factor.  Your numbers offer valuable insights into your business and how to lead it into a more profitable territory when you leverage this information when making key decisions.

Numbers can be your best friend if you are ready to end that “financially challenged” feeling.   Regardless of how you track your revenues and expenses, on a spreadsheet or a software program like Quickbooks. these 5 small steps can help you ease into positive financial oversight.

1.  Look at your revenues for the week
2.  Look at your total expenses for the week.
3.  Did you earn more than you spent?  If yes, you made a profit  If no you lost money.
4.  Now identify 2 -3 small action items you can take right away to improve your revenues for next week.
5.  Recognize how these small action items made you feel.  Are you more empowered? Why /why

Getting comfortable with your numbers can take time… be patient.  If you want to build systems to grow your business, I recommend that you book a complimentary Ignite Business Assessment session.  Together we will identify your next key steps.

 

Can You Be A Great Leader & Have a Balanced Life?

This past weekend I was speaking a conference with some amazing business owners and professionals.  The vibe in the room was exceptional and the knowledge shared was so valuable new business owners were definitely leaving with information overload.   As a business owner with over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur, I certainly wasn’t on information overload but I have gained some great tips and tricks to help my business too.

Now that I am taking a few days away to rejuvenate myself with some sun and fresh air, I’m also catching up on some reading.  My idea of balance is to read lots of fiction to escape, but also read some business books to inspire me.  This brings me to how this post started.

Becoming Your Best-S Shellingburger CoverI’ve been reading Steven Shallenberger’s book “Becoming Your Best”.  In this book he shares “12 principles you need to follow in order to reach your highest potential and drive the kind of innovation that turns good companies into industry leaders, all while living a well-balanced personal life.”

I loved the principles shared in this book.  Leadership is a privilege and when you have an opportunity to be a leader it should be revered.

Here are a few of my key takeaways

1.  Be Yourself

As a leader, you can be your best, and offer more value to your business or organization when you are yourself.  Being yourself includes standing up for what you believe in, being true to your character and face challenges with honesty and integrity.    Part of being yourself is to treat others as you would like others to treat you.

2.   Add SPARK to what you do.

My presentation at the conference was entitled “Add SPARK and Grow with Vision”.   SPARK is the framework I use to assist business leaders to effectively and efficiently grow business and develop a strong team.  Shallenberger has a similar message.  He recommends you lead with vision, create written plans that you can then execute.   It is important to plan for the obvious and expected but also the unexpected and then review your results.  Shallenberger says  “Effective management means that you inspire and empower your team members to stand with you and help you succeed.”   Integrate continuous quality improvement into everything you do to be a great leader.

3.  Manage Your Most Precious Resource

Time is a precious resource and one that is often taken for granted.  I love the quote by Tony Robbins, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”  

Shallenberger suggests you think high quality and high quantity when prioritizing your time.  These two foci will help you plan your day, week, month and year in a way that you get more done in less time with better results.  He also suggests that ” your positive and peaceful energy and your effective use of time are two of your most precious resources.”

4.  Communicate and Build Trust

Communication and trust are critical factors in business today.  In my book “The Winning Way” I identified communication as one of the key attributes for good leaders.  Effective communication helps improve engagement with your employees and other team members, enhances the “buy-in” to your vision and plays a significant role in building trust.  The more you can interact with people in a positive and effective way, the more they come to know, like and trust you as a person and business leader.

5.  Be Accountable and Persistent63e2966fbed6d110e0d9914b65565f9d

Too often accountability and persistence are pushed aside.  When you do so, trust is broken and results suffer.  I particiulary liked the three strategies shared in the book for being more accountable:  a)  Control what you can control   b) Develop relationship agreements c)  Eliminate procrastination and follow through.   A lack of follow-though has been identified as one of the key reasons businesses fail to achieve the results they envision.   Persistence allows you to stay connected to people in your network, learn from set-backs and to navigate the ups and downs to really fulfill your vision!

 

As I came to the end of the book, I realized I am already integrating Shallenberger’s 12 principles into my life and business.  My key focus and very much a work in progress is the integration of more peace and balance- hence my personal retreat this week!

So my question to you is… can you have a balanced personal life while you lead and reach your highest potential?

 

Book a complimentary Business Assessment session to see if Ignite Leadership can add value to your business and leadership development plans.

Interview: The Next Big Thing Show with Jess Todtfeld

I was very fortunate to participate in an event called “The Next Big Thing” in Orlando FL in November 2014. While I was there, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Jess Todtfeld – a media expert and motivational speaker, about the work I do at Ignite Leadership International™

The Winning Way – Calculate Part 2

Know Your Numbers – Carrying Charges

In this post we continue to look at how you, as a business leader, can achieve more when you know your numbers.  (Read Part 1)

Cash Flow Management is a key factor for most businesses but often balancing the movement of funds within your business is challenging.  Determining whether you should pay for products or services in one large payment or take advantage of a multi-pay option may feel like a “no-brainer” but at what cost?

What carrying charges are you incurring?

The goal of a vendor is to get you to buy their product or service.  This is the same for you in your business.  Many vendors offer you an opportunity to opt-in to a “multi-pay” situation rather than paying a large lump sum.  In retail this may be in the foBudget Expensesrm of a “buy now, pay later” scheme.  Many service providers to small businesses offer you the ability to pay for a program monthly, or in 2, 3 or 4 payments.   Those multi-pay options may be labelled “easy pay” or “cash flow friendly” but don’t lose sight of the fact that whenever you opt for a later payment, you will incur carrying charges.

There is no right or wrong answer unless you look at each situation individually and determine the value of the product or service, its ability to help you achieve your business goals and the impact on your cash flow.  I flex between the two options, depending on circumstances, but I enter a multi-pay agreement with my eyes wide open.

Let’s look at the cost of multi-pay options.

One program I recently reviewed targeted top level leaders.  This program offered a full range of training modules – both in person and virtual, tools and resources as well as some private covalue price ID-100287427 Stuart Milesaching sessions. The full cost of the program was $54,000 but if you chose the monthly option, you would pay a total of $64, 850 – a full $905/month or  $10,850/year more.  This may feel like its an extreme example but it clearly demonstrates the impact of carrying charges.  I have seen carrying charges of $1200 on a $5000 ticket item (a 24% surcharge).

Consider this…

If you are interested in purchasing a product or service from a vendor, such as a training program or coaching, what are the carrying costs you will incur if you do not pay at one time?  If you paid at one time, what impact would that have on your cash flow – this month & for the next 3+ months?  Can you pay off the balance at any time if revenues increase?Do you have other sources of money which you can use and have a lower carrying cost than the vendor is charging?

The Winning Way – Calculate Part 1

Know Your Numbers – Recurring Charges

When September began I had numerous subscriptions and annual expenses (like insurance) come across my desk.  As I was already spending time decluttering filing cabinets and electronic files,  I thought it would be a good time to really take stock of my own business so that I could tweak my goals as I enter the final half of my fiscal year.  I  regularly lead clients through this process but, like any specialist, I don’t always set aside the time to do the same for myself.

This lead me to thinking about my chapter of the best selling book “The Winning Way“.  In my chapter I share three key attributes to ignite the leader within. One of those attributes is the ability to know your numbers.

 “When you know your numbers, you have a unique method of measuring your own success, and the effectiveness of the methodologies you have in place.  Key performance indicators (KPI’s) allow you to better understand how well the systems deliver the results you want to achieve. ” 

As a business leader, whether you are a business owner or executive, manager or a project leader, you probably have to manage a budget, a team (in-house or out-sourced), suppliers, inventory and more. To effectively do your job, you need to know your numbers at different points in a week, month, year, or in the project. My question to you – how well do you know your numbers?

Over the next week, I will share with your my deep dive into my own numbers and saved myself thousands of dollars!   Asking yourself these questions could save you too!

 What are your recurring expenses?  What value do they bring to your business?

Every year I sign up for different programs, journals, magazines, which incur recurring charges – either monthly or yearly.  These expenses are automatically billed to a credit card and I acknowledge them when they are on my statement, but frequently forget about themcircles-free in the months between.

I have now taken stock of all of the subscriptions and other recurring expenses I incur each month.  Mapping it out provided me with a visual map of when the expenses occur and how much they are.  I was then able to review each expense and evaluated whether I used it, how often etc.  I also looked at other options.  Frequently other companies may have introduced some new features to their product line which better fit your needs.

In my review I realized I wasn’t using 3 of the services I pay for each month.  I had the subscriptions for “just-in-case” situations.  I realized it was better to pay the slightly higher cost for one-time use rather than having a low recurring expense and therefore I cancelled the three services – saving me $500/year.  Another recurring expense is an annual fee with no refund potential.  Again, I realized it was costing me  more than I realized and the quality and options I could now get in that package were no longer worth that pricetag.   I have now calendarized the renewal date so that I can cancel this subscription.  This will save me another $500/yr.

Download my Recurring Expense Tracker to review your recurring expenses.  How much can you save your business?

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