By Studio Growth Coach, Kristy Ellis
Entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself.
“she must delegate duties so as to free herself for more important tasks”
Synonyms: assign, entrust, give, pass on, hand on/over, turn over, consign, devolve, depute, transfer “she must learn to delegate routine tasks to others”
Looking back at my own journey as a studio owner, there is one thing is stands out as a necessity: the art of delegation.
As a business owner, delegating can be something that comes naturally. However, in my experience (and as a recovering perfectionist), letting go of even the smaller tasks took a lot of practice.
The feeling of doing everything, not knowing who can be trusted to take on a task and getting further and further behind in your work can feel overwhelming. It is time to create a strategy in order to free up your time before you hit burn out. While it may seem easier to just do a task yourself, when you delegate, you are empowering someone else to act for you, to take responsibility of a task and to be rewarded (or learn) from the result.
Here are some tips to help you get back your time and delegate to your team.
I get it… it is usually easier just to do it yourself but this is certainly not a good leadership skill nor is it beneficial for your own sanity. By being in a reactive mindset to tasks, your team is not given the opportunity to grow.
Try to forward-think for the year ahead, and start to delegate projects that you can lead rather than be involved in every task.
Give projects rather than only tasks
When your team are handed something with responsibility, you are empowering them to make decisions, solve problems and take ownership of the result. Be specific with the tasks you are delegating. Yes, if they make a mistake, it may cost you in time and money but they have no one to blame than themselves. Recently, my company lost a $15k contract because the project was not delivered on time. A very costly result, however, it was obvious that this person’s role was not being fulfilled and as a leader it was my choice to step back and allow this to happen rather than to save the situation again, which would have only created the same cycle.
Start by integrating delegation into your weekly routines. Are their tasks that are repeated in your week? Having someone sit with you while you complete the task is the easiest way to delegate. Look at your task list and bundle them into projects. Then delegate the project to a key person in your team. Start with a project you can trust will be okay without your input at every task. Give your team key information without the solution to every question. Once you get the feeling of letting go, delegation will become easier and you can start delegating larger projects such as a recital! Delegating larger projects will free up your time in the long run so be sure to find time to teach your team.
Adjust & Review
Remember that this new level of responsibility will take your team an adjustment period. In saying this, be mindful to not answer every question, rather ask “what do you think” or “what did your research find”. They will not only feel that their opinion is valued but also that you trust them.
Be open to new views and opportunities to alter current processes. By empowering your team to be solution focussed, you have more time to discover how to better run your studio. Take time to review your delegation.
Sometimes, we fail to delegate due to a bad experience. Try thinking of the reason for the delegation and defining the type of delegation to your team. Do you require the entire project done with little communication, is it a small task like posting a costume or DVD that you do not need detail just that it has been completed, do you want the team member to research and let you know their recommendation or present all of their findings for a group discussion, do they research and action the project while keeping you informed? Whichever suits the project along with your leadership style, ensure that it is clearly communicated to your team so that you are less surprised by the result.
When you have grown your business solely delegating and trusting someone with your tasks can seem very daunting. Take the time to adjust and remember it is better to let go than to burn out.
A great resource is a book by Jan Yager “Work Less, Do More”.
For more strategies and resources on growing the studio of your dreams while reclaiming your life, join Kristy and our team of studio growth coaches inside the world’s biggest online community of dance studio owners, The Dance Studio Owners Association.
Kristy Ellis is the Founder and Creative Director of UP Agency, a consulting company passionate about creating spectacular events and customer experiences. Combining her passion for the performing arts together with qualifications and experience in Business and Event management, UP Agency is fast becoming a highly sought after end-to-end event company.
At the age of 20, Kristy founded her first dance studio, which quickly grew to a successful multi-location performing arts studio. During this time, she gained extensive experience, qualifications and training as a dance teacher, choreographer, design & importing textiles and company director. Kristy is passionate about the performing arts industry working together to help in each others’ success and is a studio growth coach with Dance Studio Owners Association with a focus on improving sales and customer experience through implementing systems, strategies, websites and social media to help studio owners gain more work-life balance.