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Posts Tagged ‘delegate’

Give Up Time Management!

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

 photo energymanagement-org_zps6xhepger.gif

Do you ever feel like you are so caught up in the everyday, ongoing activity in your business that you can’t actually find time to make decisions about your business?

Do you take on tasks that you shouldn’t?

Do you really need to be the person who runs to the post office to mail off the patterns you sold?
Do you need to run to the office supply shop when you are out of staples?

If the answer is yes, when do you have time to look at your numbers and make hiring or buying decisions if this is how you spend your time? We all know the answer to that one; you don’t.

While you may not see yourself in the above scenario, I’m sure you aren’t always working smarter in your business. And, it’s not really a function of managing time. We all have the same 24 hours. It’s more about managing energy. You can actually do something about your energy. And, if you can learn how to manage your energy, then you can put attention and focus where they belong — on your business.

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Creative Arts Inspiration: Learn to Delegate

Sunday, September 20th, 2015


If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate. ~ John Maxwell


John Maxwell - If you want to do2



Too Much On Your Plate? Delegate

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015




Recently I was talking with my client Claire, a needlework designer, about the need to start delegating some of her work. She was overwhelmed with the amount of work on her plate and she felt that she needed to do it all herself.


She is like many other small business entrepreneurs I work with who have a hard time delegating. It is hard to leverage your time to work on your business if you are always working in your business. Claire, like so many small business owners, had a fear of assigning work to others. (Control issues, anyone?) When we looked at this on a deeper level, we discovered a few common reasons.


First, Claire was afraid that if she had someone else do a task, they would not do it as well as she could. Of course, this is really a story in her head, and it is not necessarily true. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Often someone can do the task even better than we can if we just let them. It is about letting each of us work in our brilliance.


Related to that is the fact that Claire really looked at herself like many small business entrepreneurs do, as the technician. If you are familiar with Michael Gerber’s Emyth Mastery, you understand his terms technician, manager and entrepreneur. When we started our businesses, we did everything: design, pattern stuffing, marketing, website development, sales, content creation, order fulfillment, and on and on. That was fine in the beginning, only you are trying to grow a business. That requires that you learn how to spend less of your time as the technician, and to do that you need to build a team and delegate.


I think Claire, like many of us, started with a misunderstanding of what delegation is. Delegation is not tossing off the work to someone else without guidelines, a system of checks and balances, and follow-up. That would be abdicating and leaders do not do that.


So, how do you get started delegating?


Your first step is to begin to create a list of routine activities that you are doing as a technician that do not use your brilliance. A few examples could be formatting your weekly zine, bookkeeping or editing your videos. Then you need to take the time to document the system for one of those. Once you are done with the first one, move onto the second.


Once you have your task to delegate, it’s important to keep a few things in mind so delegating becomes part of your comfort zone.


1. What is the authority you are giving someone? Remember you are not abdicating all the work and decision making. You are giving a specific amount of authority to someone to do a task. For example, if you own a shop, your manager may have the authority to make decisions that the employees will not. You have to specify what the authority is.


2. What are you delegating from an autonomy standpoint, i.e., what can someone do without oversight or what is the degree of oversight. Andrew Grove, the former chairman of Intel, used the term “task-relevant maturity” when describing how he considered delegation. The person you delegate tasks to should have proven through prior work that they have experience completing that kind of task. It’s not an all or nothing proposition.


3. Do not confuse responsibility and accountability. Responsibility defines the tasks that are part of someones job. Accountability describes the positive or negative consequences for the results of that work. A few examples: A salesperson’s responsibility is selling your product, making a certain number of sales calls, etc. His accountability would be how much he gets paid and whether he gets to keep job based on the amount he sells relative to the sales goal. Your bookkeeper’s responsibility would be keeping the books. Her accountability includes the raise she receives as a result of her accuracy.


Are you ready to delegate?


If you have identified your tasks to delegate, created the appropriate systems, found the appropriate team member, the next step is to clearly set parameters with that team member. What is the authority, autonomy, responsibility and accountability associated with the task. What are the conditions of your satisfaction with the task completion. Be sure you discuss this with your team member and answer any of her questions.


If you do not set parameters and follow-through on your end, you are likely abdicating not delegating. Your business is not going to grow as it should.


Last, here is a good quote on delegating from John Maxwell:


“If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.”


Please share your thoughts on delegating below. I would love to hear them. You are also welcome to go to leave a comment on the ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

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Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at


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Is It More Important That You Do It or That It Gets Done?

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

chaos am arbeitsplatzI had a conversation with one of my clients last week about her massive to-do list. She was so busy doing things like shipping and answering emails that she could not work in her brilliance. For her this is designing. And, I can tell you she was frustrated, and her business was suffering from this.

Not delegating for some of us is really about giving up control. It is hard when we know how to do everything correctly. (Do we really?)

And, we think that by the time we show someone how to do it, we could have done it ourselves. Yes, it does take time initially. The end result is worth it.

For others it is not knowing where to start — what to delegate, who to delegate to, and where to find this person.

Here is a system that has worked for me and my clients.

  1. For the next couple of weeks, write down all the tasks you are doing. And, I mean all the tasks. Even personal tasks.
  2. Go back and identify the tasks as Entrepreneurial/Managerial (tasks you must do) or Administrative/Technical (tasks that could be done by someone else). You might even find tasks that are really unnecessary and should be deleted.
  3. Next to those that are Administrative/Technical and assign a dollar amount that you think you could pay someone for doing these tasks.
  4. Sort the tasks by category. You might find some related to your website, some to social media marketing, some to personal items, some to bookkeeping. This will help you identify the type of person — their qualifications — you need to hire.
  5. Identify potential resources where you might find help. Possibilities include;;;;; your church; your neighborhood; the local shelter; arts groups or guilds you belong to. Once you start thinking in this direction, you will come up with other ideas.
  6. Start with the lowest cost items first or the ones that are most frustrating to you. For many people, bookkeeping is the first task they delegate. Set up expectations for the task, create trainings/procedures for the person you hire, and develop a system to be sure that things get done.

Yes, this takes time, and should be something to revisit on a periodic basis. It is easy to slip back into doing it yourself instead of teaching someone else to do it, especially if the hire does not work out as you expected.

So what should you be delegating that you are not? Who are you going to hire? And, when? Share what one item you are willing to let go of.

If you have taken steps to delegate, or have more questions regarding delegation, please feel free to leave a reply below or on the ICAP Fan Club Facebook page.



Please do! Just use it in its entirety and be sure to include the blurb below:

Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at



Rescue Me, Please

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014


rescuemeDo you remember the hit “Rescue Me?” Depending on how old you are, the tune was recorded by Fontella Bass, Madonna, or Daughtry. While the lyrics are different, the theme is the same. The subject of the song is in need of rescue, rescue by someone else.


While many of us are not looking for a someone to save us in the terms of the song, do you have other instances where you are looking for a rescue? I will give you a few examples. Are you looking for someone to take over your books and then tell you what to do with your business? Are you delegating  some of your work and then not following up or keeping track of the work? Did you fall behind preparing for the next show and are scrambling for someone to get you of the jam?


It is fine to look for help or get feedback. It is not fine to give up your power by looking for a rescue. And, yes, this is what you are doing by not being fully knowledgeable about your business. Remember delegation is not the same as abdication.


You cannot completely step into your own power and accept the rewards you deserve from your life and business if you are looking for a rescue.


It really comes down to personal responsibility. You need to learn to be your own rescuer. Besides, rescues only really work in fairy tales!


Where in your life and business are you not taking personal responsibility and waiting to be rescued? How are you going to change this? Why not share your thoughts on our Facebook page or leave a reply below.


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photo credit: MendocinoAnimalCare via photopin cc



Find Your CEO Hat

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

How many hats do you wear in your business? I know most of us wear more than one, particularly if it is a relatively new business. We have not had time to put the necessary systems and teams in place, so we are everything from the creative head to the shipping department. While that is how most of us start out, at some point we need to look to shed some of those hats. If we want to create a successful business, it is important to take an honest look at our skills and look at where someone else could do the job, i.e., take some of the hats from you.

In the past couple of weeks I have had conversations with several clients about their plans for 2014, and some have centered around the CEO hat. When you wear the CEO hat, you need to take “yourself” out of your business. That can be hard for many of us. I think it is because what we create is so personal. We don’t want our feelings hurt if someone does not like our art, and it can stop us from getting the information we need to make decisions about our business. We have got to remember we are making business not personal decisions. Yet it is critical to put on that CEO hat if we expect to grow our business.

As you take time to look at where you are in your business in 2013 and make plans for 2014, try to take yourself personally out of the business, put on your CEO hat, and consider what the right decision is to grow your business. Look for those places where someone else can handle the tasks and allow you put your energy where it belongs: having the big vision for your business, selling your business ideas and energizing those on your team.

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