I think I’ve finally discovered the ultimate delegation plan for women: Your head explodes. If your head explodes then, clearly, you are other otherwise occupied and the people around you have to start doing things that you previously did. Right now my head is at risk of exploding. I am unsure if these are real adult-onset migraines or if I was too overwhelmed some revenue projections I ran last week. With the two brain cells I have left, I started delegating stuff to my team since the headache seems to be moving in like John Belushi, the over-stayed houseguest in the old SNLs.
Note: Building a Million Dollar Business Part time is the Hot Mommas Project “insiders” blow-by-blow series recently moved from “secret” status to “out” status. In this series, I complain about stuff, and then say what I learned. The other posts on this blog have to do with women’s leadership and helping women and girls reach their potential based on teaching, research, and real-life.
Here is how it’s going (the delegating, that is).
Level 1 = Delegating tasks with due dates between two days and two weeks.
The first thing I tried was getting minor tasks off my plate. These are things I was planning to do over the next two days to two weeks, but can’t count on myself now. This went well. Examples:
From: Kathy Korman Frey
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:07 AM
To: Achin Jain
Subject: Setting up call
I am bedridden w/ a migraine and need favor. Can you set up call for tomorrow on talkshoe.com for 12 ET. Login may be xxxx and xxxx.
Then, can you send the reminder w/ dial-in on eventbrite? Thx.
From: Achin Jain
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 11:35 AM
To: Kathy Korman Frey
Subject: RE: Setting up call
I did it.
Summary: This went really well. There was another task I asked our other tenured team member Kaitlyn about. She was on it. Why? Two things: 1) SHARE. Using the example of Achin…Over the years, I’ve always brought him into the fold of any “outreach” we’re doing. This requires technology tools ranging from TalkShoe.com to Eventbrite.com to our site. 2) APTITUDE: Achin knows how to use all these tools, has common sense, and superior written communication skills (which is essential in our virtual environment). Time after time, I’ve learned I can trust him.
The secret: Good team. My secret to “Level 1 Delegation” is a good team. Achin and Kaitlyn, as my two longest-standing team members, just “get” what is a good job, and what is a bad job. Sure, they’re human. They run behind on stuff sometimes. But they have a very accurate internal compass and will write me and say, “I’m playing catch up today, will have all ready by tomorrow a.m.”
Here is a presentation I made at @GrowSmartBiz which highlights the HotMommasProject.org team values. Minimum requirement: I need team members to check five of these seven boxes, and be coachable in the other two. I kissed a lot of frogs in getting to this list.
Level 2 = Delegation Vision / Leadership
This did not go as well as Level 1, because it’s sort of like dropping a baby in someone’s lap and taking off. People need to be prepared for this. Example:
From: “Kathy Korman Frey”
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:00 AM
Subject: Head exploding
Sitting in bedroom with sunglasses con migraine right now. Going to Dr at 1 b/c headaches have been going for a week. So, if my head explodes it will be up to you and Achin to hold the fort down 🙂
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 10:19 AM
To: “Kathy Korman Frey”
Subject: RE: Head exploding
Make sure your head doesn’t explode. If Achin and I had to hold down any fort it would easily end up being more like a hot pocket eating, south park watching marathon. As great as that sounds, Im not sure it produces role models on paper for women and girls.
Summary: Truth be known, Kaitlyn and I just think Hot Pockets and SouthPark are funny (Especially Hot Pockets). But, it does make me realize that if our women’s education and empowerment empire got acquired, I would be a “must have” because the business is built around me and my vision. I need to spread out the vision-creating, like 1-800-Got-Junk did with their “Can You Imagine” Wall.
PARTING THOUGHTS: Today, in my sunglass-wearing, bedridden state, I started t o develop a list of longer-range projects for the team. My goals:
1. Talk with the them about literally “running” aspects of the business, and swapping the percentage of current involvement (me 50%, them 50%) to more like 80% (them) and 20% (me). And, the 80% would include the vision and strategy part too.
2. If they say yes, I envision a business fantasy (yes, this is the type of fantasies business nerds have) wherein: Team members report back to me on how they see their part of the company developing. Vision leadership, handed off…
Will my dream come true? Am I being unrealistic? Is the migraine putting weird thoughts in my head, or is this legit? Either way, this will be interesting, and fun. Wish me luck…
….and, wish me luck at the doctor today who is making sure my head doesn’t explode.
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