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UNCHARTED: The Value Of Discipline for Business Success

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Starting the conversation:

Want more time in your day? Achieving this goal is possible when you’re focusing on the right work; designing a process to ensure you’re doing the right work; and then making sure there is time to do the work. Listen in as Emily Morgan, Founder and CEO of Delegate Solutions, discusses how to create more freedom in your day and workplace.

Repeating success comes from an inner confidence. That involves knowing that you have a clear finish line, and are able to communicate; hold accountability to; and problem-solve as a team along the way to reaching that goal. The biggest impact we can make is understanding (and then choosing) the right work on which to focus, and making sure the right people are doing those tasks … we must also create the time and energy for the work that we ourselves, as leaders, must also do. Host Jess Dewell talks with Emily Morgan, Founder and CEO of Delegate Solutions, about how to shift your thinking to achieve more.

Host: Jess Dewell

Guest: Emily Morgan


Emily Morgan 00:00
We do a lot of work around self-sabotaging thoughts that we tell ourselves and affirmations. Like, I am an excellent delegator, put it on a sticky note, stare at it site every day, whatever you got to do to get in the right frame of mind. It is total discipline though.

Announcer 00:20
This is uncharted, a series of candid conversations about facing uncertainty. When we are called upon to be courageous, the strength of our leadership is tested. Red Direction has developed the Fast Track Your Business program to help you stay aligned to your business’s TrueNorth. Jess Dewell is your guide. Jess brings you a 20-year track record of business excellence, where strategy and operations overlap. Your Path comes from consistently working from the special place. Your unique true north. Now, here’s Jess.

Jess Dewell 00:55
Welcome back to the Bold Business Podcast. And I have to tell you, one of the things that really gets my goat is people who talk about delegating, when in actuality, they’re voiding. They let it go. They don’t pay attention to it, because they think if they delegate it, it’ll just happen. Well, you know what, you know what, especially if you’ve been listening to me for any point in time, and all of the guests that we have, you know what they say they say you have to be present all the time. And it is true and maybe even truer in the concept of what we’re trying to talk about when we want to delegate well, and do the things that we actually want to get done. And Emily Morgan is here with us today, she is helping leaders like you. And teams like yours create the freedom to do more of what they love to increase it to increase, no way to increase their impact. She’s the founder of delegate solutions and the creator of the delegate freedom system. And not only has it helped 1000s of busy entrepreneurs master delegation, it’s also helped them reclaim their time. And she’s here to share some of those tidbits and wisdom with us, Emily, welcome to the Bold Business Podcast.

Emily Morgan 02:10
So excited to be here. Thank you.

Jess Dewell 02:12
Yeah, you’re welcome. Okay, so when did you realize that there was this thing that you could do and this interests that you had around delegation?

Emily Morgan 02:25
So for me, my early career, I worked as an admin EA. So right, during and out of college is when I was starting to learn about delegation, and I was learning about it from someone delegating to me, as opposed to me delegating to someone else. So my career has been a really 360 view of delegation, because I’ve been the delegate t been the delegate, or I’ve been the delegate, thought leader. So all things, all the things.

Jess Dewell 02:56
Well, that’s great. And you know, and so let’s start from the, we all know what we don’t like about the way other people communicate with us. And so that indicates one of two things. If I don’t like the way you’re talking to me, or I don’t understand, and I don’t know how to ask, but I’m not for whatever reason, it’s implied. I’m just kind of supposed to know, or I’m supposed to like it. What is something that I can do? Having been in all of those roles, right, that could kindly and compassionately say, I need more, or I don’t understand.

Emily Morgan 03:35
So some best practices with delegation to address that exact issue, I’ll throw a few out at you. Yeah, one, always share the end result, share what success needs to look like for something to be true, because the way you might get to it is totally different than the way I might get to it. And if we’re getting to the same place, and we’re meeting the success criteria, perfect. Alright, so that would be one. Number two would be always agree on who’s doing what by when. So a lot of ambiguity happens when you say something to me, you’re like, Okay, got it. And then we never talked about when it’s coming back to you. Right? So being really clear with whoever you’re delegating to, when it’s due back. And then another, like, delegation tip is, why is it important to you? So if, if I, as your assistant understand why you want me to work on something, or why we’re prioritizing this, it helps me make more educated decisions as I’m working through the things you need help with.

Jess Dewell 04:41
You know, and I think about this, and now tell me how this relates to the way you’ve built your business. Right? Because I know we were talking about something like well, we always know when somebody delegates to us, or they’re think they’re delegating to us, but really, we know they’re not right. That was a nice place to start. But let’s get past that. Let’s go. Look, we’re all building something We’ve pitched our missions together to do something. And so my question to you then becomes, well, how do you shift into this concept of collaboration, cooperation? And it’s not necessarily delegation, but it’s assignment of the things that fit each of our highest and best use of our time, right?

Emily Morgan 05:21
So tell me again, the question because …

Jess Dewell 05:23
I have no idea it got it came away. And I kept talking, I’m like, No, actually, it was this. It was well, so as a team, how do we know what to let go of? And how do we know what to claim for all of our best and highest use of our time?

Emily Morgan 05:43
Yes, so we’re talking about what can come off our plates. And so what’s an interesting finding that I’ve had around delegation, I just finished a book on delegation. So I literally wrote a third of my book about this point. But there’s so many reasons why we as leaders don’t want to let go. And a lot of it has to do with our own, how we are valuing our time, right. And so if you’re, let’s say you’re an entrepreneur, you have been putting out fires since 2002. And you get a lot of energy from that fear identity is tied to how busy you are, it can be really scary to think about letting things go. So you know, there’s a mindset component to delegation, and then complementary to that, to that finding, I think that the number one thing that we need to do as leaders, before we delegate is be really clear what we want to spend our time on. Because if we know we want to spend our time on, when we start to clear all the things off our plate that are not that thing. We know that we’re not refilling our plates with more of the same because time is a vacuum, right? So work expands to fill the time that we have. So if we’re really clear what we’re trying to do, we’re really clear on why we want to do it, what is the impact we’re trying to make, then we’re in the right frame of mind to figure out what can be delegated

Announcer 07:12
We will return to Uncharted in a few moments. How you work on your business often means the difference between failure and success. When you commit to developing skills, increasing capacity for the unknown, and prioritizing your mission, you’re taking action toward success. Find out more about how to Fast Track Your Business at Let’s get back to Jess.

Jess Dewell 07:37
When you know what you want to spend your time on. I can tell you all you CEOs, founders, co-founders and everybody out there, that better be no I shouldn’t well, I shouldn’t say That better be let’s just put it, let’s just put it out there and say, if it’s not the overarching business strategy, the way you make money watching the levers with what you have control over, consider adding that because … you like that Emily?

Emily Morgan 08:01
Delegate that to an integrator. But I think as visionaries, like, we need to bring the vision, if there’s no visionary, that company has no vision, the company will die. So to me, like, we’re all put here for a reason. We’re all here to make an impact. And the sooner you can get in touch with what that is, and be able to articulate it, the sooner you can start to see all the things you’re doing that don’t support that vision.

Jess Dewell 08:24
That’s right. And, you know, I was actually, I was actually working on a small piece of content. And every once in a while I referenced Stephen Covey’s rocks, you know, his rocks story, Emily, like rocks in a jar. Yeah, the rocks in a jar? Yeah. So you put your rocks in the jar first. And then you add the smaller pieces and the smaller pieces and the smaller pieces. And one of the things that I know, I really think about, and, and have recognized in, especially this year, okay, so I’d say in the last 18 months, and so I’m thinking it’s going to go for at least 18 months, people are trying to put too many rocks in the jar, they don’t fit. Sure. And is now does this fit into delegation? Or do we are we making a delineation between our vision and the company? And we got to let something go? Or how or something else?

Emily Morgan 09:16
No, you’re spot on. So I think that when we’re talking about alright, we know we want to spend our time on number one, right? We’re in the right healthy frame of mind that that’s what we’re here to do. Now we need to figure out what can go. And so we have some tips on that. One is you always want to start with your goals. So being able to articulate what it is that you’re here to contribute, and being able to share that with your support team is step one, because if we’re creating delegations tied to your goals, you’re going to get through them faster, and likely, you probably need to do 20% of whatever that goal is, and 80% of it can be done by someone else. The research the back and forth the project management, building process, whatever it is You probably have a very small component of you actually hitting that goal. So that’s step one,

Jess Dewell 10:06
Where we continue to step two, and I’ll prompt you with step two, that I would challenge everybody to find a portion of that 80% that can just go in the bin. Yeah, who don’t just do it, because you think it needs to be done, actually evaluated and make the choice to do the right to delegate the right part of the 80%. And put 20% in the bin and acknowledge nobody needs to do that to get this done well.

Emily Morgan 10:28
Yeah. And a good assistant can help you figure out what that is. So that’s right. Entrepreneurs can get really stuck there. Because they’re not thinking that way. They’re just really excited about whatever the new idea is. A good assistant can say, okay, and then you keep drilling into it, like, what, what do you need to do? What do you need to do? And then the rest becomes a delegation. Okay? And step two, look for repeatable. So, a great place to find delegation are things you’re doing over and over again, I look for these all the time in my day, like, alright, I did this for like three months in a row, it becomes delegated? Well, because it’s a process that you can create. Somebody can shadow you, you can shadow them, boom, it’s off your plate.

Jess Dewell 11:12
Two steps, I want to make sure they’re more.

Emily Morgan 11:16
So there’s five.

Jess Dewell 11:17
How many of you give us three? And we’ll stop at that for today. We’ll do three. Okay.

Emily Morgan 11:22
So the last one is the find the low-hanging fruit. So when we, when we start small, with delegation, we can build confidence. And so schedule my hair appointment, set my kids up for summer camp, order the paper, whatever, pick really small things to just build momentum and confidence as a great place to start.

Jess Dewell 11:45
And so for the 20%, that’s left that you’ve already delegated, we’re going to jump ahead, and we’re going to say, Okay, so I’ve gotten the stuff in the bin, I’ve gotten this to my team, I understand what is a relative to the way that we do our business, the low hanging fruit, you’re talking about, then communication, I’m saying, hey, if so all of this is in place, we know what it looks like, we know where things are going? And how do we check back in to the way we’re valuing our time to make sure that we are reprogramming a habit to be more optimized that for a great framing,

Emily Morgan 12:27
Great. Um, in my work, studying delegation, I learned that there’s not a delegation system out there that I feel like people can cling to and so we built one. So the very first step of that is, is focusing and getting back in touch with what you’re here to do, what is your contribution? So for me, that becomes like a weekly ritual, daily ritual, whatever cadence you want. And then we supplement that with a weekly meeting with your team, where you’re just sort of following a very specific meeting format that they run, you don’t run it, they run it, you answer questions.

Jess Dewell 13:05
Mm-hmm. So as a visionary, because you self-proclaimed visionary right here, Emily? So and, and you’re not alone. There are many of us. I’m not a but you are visionary. So when you think about, about, I’m the cheerleader, I’m the one that goes, Oh, I love your vision. Let’s, here’s how you get that done. Right. So as a visionary, when you start delegating, what is the biggest thing that you were frustrated with? When working with others in this delegation, learning that you then somehow held up the mirror went? Oh, I can change that?

Emily Morgan 13:44
Yeah, that’s a great question. I think when we delegate we, we sometimes get so excited to get off our plate, we really don’t save time to make our piece of the 100%. And so even if you feel like you’ve delegated almost all of it, you should always save a little time for you to address whatever’s coming out of all the work that other people are doing. Because that can get really exciting. Like, oh my god, I can give them this, I can give them that, Oh, my God, this is great. And then like, boom, boom, boom, our time fills back up. And then we’re getting back all of the research and all of the contracts and all of the things that we’ve delegated, and we still need time to do our 20%. And so we do that through time blocking. really intentional calendaring is yes, really the way and with a good team, in your weekly sync calls, they can start to anticipate, alright, cool, you’re gonna work on that you’re gonna have it to me by Wednesday. I need a time block on Thursday, so I can review it. And it’s just part of the vocabulary to start working that way.

Jess Dewell 14:52
It’s amazing. And I tell people this all the time because like you said, you were like, what’s that question in here and I’m bringing that back up because I, It’s easy to say, Oh, well, we’re in the same place. Well, we’re having the same conversation. You’re already in my head and at my party. And sometimes I forgot to open the door. Mm-hmm. And so I want to totally honor that in what you’re saying. And that it is a practice of going, hello. Oh, yes, open the door and welcome greet host, whatever that might be.

Emily Morgan 15:23
Yeah, so communication is like, a absolute foundational part of delegation. So who’s doing what, by when? When are we thinking back up on this? Do I have time blocks? Are we clear on what success looks like? Why is this important to me? It might feel laborious, but this is the path to freedom. You have to really start discipline yourself around making these shifts and how you are getting things off your plate. Because ultimately, you’re hitting a ceiling. You’re not serving anyone because your vision is squashed by filling out contracts, doing research, whatever the two dues are, that are mounting, mounting. So it’s, it’s not optional to not perfect our delegation.

Jess Dewell 16:04
Oh, okay. Total time pa Scott’s going to take that out somewhere around this is the, is the clip. That’s it. It is whatever you were just saying about it is not an option. We have to learn to do that today. That’s it. Okay. Thanks, Scott. Now, you know how I really work. And Scott’s probably like, there’s another thing, but that’s okay. Well, okay, so let’s, let’s really talk about that. You’ve mentioned you mentioned earlier in our conversation so far about, we guess we’re talking about delegation, you said this thing about focus, and now you’re talking about the skill that we must have to achieve any level of success. And I think it makes sense to like circle back to that focus piece. Well, that’s a skill that it doesn’t matter if you time block, it’s a skill that it doesn’t matter if you say you’re doing it, it’s a skill that you only know it when you’re done doing is what I’ve experienced, have you also experienced that around, I’m actually able to focus here.

Emily Morgan 17:09
It’s a total discipline thing. And so, to me, and the entrepreneurs that I’ve worked with, and that we work with at delegate is, is, is part of a routine, it’s part of a habit. We do a lot of work around self-sabotaging thoughts that we tell ourselves and affirmations like, I am an excellent delegator, put it on a sticky note, stare at it site every day, whatever you got to do to get in the right frame of mind. It is total discipline, though.

Jess Dewell 17:38
It is. And then when all of that work comes back, you actually mentioned a pitfall that I recognize, it happens in the work that I do. So the work that you’re doing around delegation and organization, part of the work that I do is, well, how do I know what I’m supposed to be working on? When? And how do I know I’m communicating more? And in both of these things, there are two elements. And those two things, it’s, well, what happens? And what does it really look like the first time that you’ve delegated 80%. And that work comes back and you’ve got 20% of that work to do? There’s a lot that we get to talk about around that. And the second is that lightbulb moment, when it’s like holy cow, how can we haven’t been doing this before, this is so easy? Well, there’s that middle ground, that middle place that’s fuzzy and messy, and we have to fall down and get up a few times. And we’re going to be talking about that in the second half of our program. So thank you everybody who’s listening to the Bold Business Podcast for free on all of those listening platforms. We love it. For those of you in the Fast Track Your Business program. This is time for you to be scooting over and getting the rest of this uncut video in your TrueNorth dashboard.

Announcer 18:53
You’ve been listening to Uncharted. Fast Track Your Business subscribers receive access to a vast set of resources, including extended conversations to this and other Uncharted episodes. Visit Fast Your preparedness and the right perspective is absolutely necessary when you find yourself somewhere Uncharted. Special thanks to The SCOTT Treatment for production assistance.