You Can’t Manage Others Until You Can Manage Yourself
The key to growing a successful business is to avoid doing $10-$15 per hour work, by identifying the 80% activities and delegating them to an assistant or key member of your team, so you can focus your efforts on the 20%, $200.00 per hour activities.
Many busy agents will hire an assistant to help them out only to find that trying to keep the assistant busy doing quality work, is even more stressful than doing the work themselves. This happens because many agents have let their management skills get rusty and end up doing a poor job managing their assistants. Here are some simple rules to follow to maximize the benefits of having an assistant help you out:
1. Manage yourself first– If you’re not pre-planning your own activities and tracking the results on a daily basis, how can you expect an assistant to be any more accountable to you that you are to yourself. Remember the expression, “A fish stinks from the head down.” Don’t even think of bringing someone else on board, if you aren’t first holding yourself to written accountability every day.
2. Track all of your own activities first, even 80%’ers– The best way to determine what you want to take off your plate and give to an assistant, is to track how you’re spending your time every day for 30 days. Highlight those activities that you don’t want to do, or that are costing you money because they are taking precious time away from more important activities that you just can seem to get to. The highlighted list becomes a Job Description of “Roles and Responsibilities” that you want to delegate to your assistant.
3. At the beginning of each week, identify the “Top 10 Activities” you want your assistant to complete during the coming week.
4. Require your assistant to Track and Plan Daily– Include in your assistant’s job description, the requirement they give you a daily recap with a priority plan for the coming day, just before they leave each day. (Just like you do for yourself and Metamorphosis.) Review the daily recap and plan for the coming day, for any discrepancies for what you want done. Reply to the daily recaps with regular comments so your assistant knows their efforts aren’t going un-noticed.
5. Meet weekly- with your assistant to discuss what was done and what you want done. Be sure to give clear instructions. Use these meetings for training purposes. Remember, the more your assistant can do for you, the more you can focus on highly productive, income-producing 20% activities. If you have the right person, poor performance is usually a result of poor instructions. In other words, “A fish stinks…..” so, be sure to give good instructions.
6. Don’t Micro-manage every project– If you find yourself compelled to just do the project yourself because no one does it as well as you, or because it’s easier than trying to explain it to someone else, you’re missing the boat. The reason you want to delegate 80% activities, is because they don’t require the same level of sophistication that you can give it. Agents that make this mistake, spend so much time getting everything done to perfection, they never have enough time to get to the real quality projects. Don’t major in the minors, major in the majors!
7. Wrong Person– Oops! You picked them, so once again, it’s all on you. Take the time to find someone you can count on.
8. If you have no assistant– Identify those activities that you can delegate to a trusted associate. This could be for example, using another agent for showings. It could also be using the same attorney or mortgage broker to follow your contracts to closing. Anyone that derives a significant amount of income from your referrals, should feel obligated to treating you as one of their 20% activities.