Sharpen Your Team’s Special Skills

April 7, 2011 by JohnStiernberg

Last time we talked about delegation of tasks in your mobile entertainment business. Beyond the concept of affordability (yes, you need to pay people), there’s the idea of best fit for the job. Who has the right skills and experience? What is the best use of my time? Is there a way that I can gauge how I feel and delegate with a higher level of confidence? This article addresses these issues and recommends three action tips for success. Just imagine an accountant or car mechanic talking over a sound system, you get the picture.

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ASSESSING YOUR ATTITUDE

There is an intangible aspect of the activities for which each individual has special skills that can guide your planning for delegation. Here’s a simple way to look at it.
For any person, a given business task either adds energy or depletes energy. If an activity adds energy, you feel great. You look forward to doing it. You feel like you are on top of your game and no one can do a better job than you. If an activity depletes energy, you feel awkward, less than capable, bored, and maybe even embarrassed to admit that you are not good at it.
You already know what happens next. You do the good stuff and procrastinate the rest. And you feel bad about procrastination because you know that the work needs to get done. The double negative does not make a positive. It’s a vicious cycle, but it is also relatively easy to change. While this is intuitively correct, many people take a different approach and get into trouble as a result. Can you relate to the following?
“I had a business coach help me identify my strengths and weaknesses. I found out I had strengths in sales and performing but weaknesses in accounting and marketing. So I went to a seminar on QuickBooks Pro, bought a book on social media, and studied hard in my (relatively scarce) free time. After six months, I realized that I had made some improvement in understanding my weaknesses, but my shows suffered and I lost a gig on the day of the seminar.”
Ouch! This person missed opportunities and squandered time just to deal with issues that someone else could have handled.

GETTING READY FOR CHANGE
You already know the array of tasks that need to be done in your mobile entertainment business, both at the gig and behind the scenes. Here are three suggestions for how to decide what to delegate and to whom.
Action Tip 1. Assess your own special skills along with those of your support team and the people around you. Make a list of tasks that need to be done, with two adjacent columns in the spreadsheet: “adds energy” or “depletes energy.” You will immediately get a clear picture of where you should be spending the majority of your time (the “adds energy” stuff ).

Action Tip 2. Determine whom not to delegate to using a similar approach. In most cases you will know the answer to this from experience. For example, your accountant loves her work but your cousin who offered to do promotion for you hasn’t really delivered. Hmm? intentions were good but the fit was bad.

Action Tip 3: Identify the hits and misses in terms of fit with the task.
Hopefully most of your team members are doing essential work that also adds energy for them. For those that are not, it’s time to make a change.

HERE’S THE POINT!
The “add vs. deplete energy” exercise can be done quickly and privately, and it does not cost anything. The results will be both startling and liberating.
Be sure to implement the Action Tips in sequence: 1) assess your own special skills, 2) assess the special skills of your team members, and 3) prepare to make changes to both your own routine and that of the people around you.
Next issue we’ll go deeper into how to actually make the personnel changes that will result from planning for delegation.
In the meantime, best wishes for success in mobile entertainment in 2011! MB

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