Delegation part 2

Subject Line: NO IDEA…Thoughts?

If someone else can do it 80% as well as you can you should delegate it.

I fucking hate this line with the fire of 1,000 suns (or just the one from Dune…RIP 2023 release date)

If someone else can do it 80% as well as you, and you give it to them and you’re okay with that result, either it doesn’t really matter how well it’s done or you SUCK as a business owner.

If it doesn’t matter how well that thing is done, then try to make it as quick and easy as possible.  But 99% of the time…it’s your JOB to make sure they can do it 100% as well as you (or better than you can).

(Title) How do we do That?

Foster a Sense of Ownership: When people take ownership, they become more invested in the outcome. By giving responsibility, you're not just assigning a task but empowering growth.  Imagine if Erin Brockovich’s boss has shut her down on trying to help the clients with the polluted water supply.  Or what if no one listened to Elle Woods about endorphins making people happy and perms needing to stay dry? 

Push your employees to be in charge of the work they do.  That’s a different mindset but gets different results than if they are just following what you said 5 years ago when you first gave this to them.

Regular Training & Upskilling: For delegation to be effective, ensure that your team is equipped with the right skills. Regular workshops, courses, or even mentorship sessions can amplify their efficiency.  I promise you almost everything your firm does can be done faster, cheaper and more consistently with ChatGPT/Bard/Bing than it was before.  But you might have to provide the right training and guidance to let your team learn it and try it.

Anticipate Change & Be Adaptive: No process is set in stone forever. As your firm grows, be ready to revisit and revise your SOPs. A growth mindset means understanding that adaptation is the only constant.  I see this a ton with people focused on client service.  As you move to a larger and larger team do you keep the clients with the same people or keep moving them between teams as their case continues on?  Either option will change your SOPs to incorporate the new work for someone OR the new people working on the case.

Evaluate & Refine: Periodically review the tasks you’ve delegated. Analyze if they're yielding the desired results, and refine accordingly. 

Remember, what got you here will not get you there.  Sometimes a 50% close rate needs to be 60%, or what worked with 10 cases doesn’t work with 100.

And sometimes you just want to try something new and see if it makes things better or not.  You can always go back to the old way if needed.

I suggest reviewing SOPs either 

when an outcome happens (or doesn’t) - in 6 months if this doesn’t get our average case resolution above $X we will revisit

When you hear multiple complaints about it from clients or employees or vendors or the court

At preset intervals like every 3/6/12 months

Each thing will make sense for a different review timeline so act accordingly on each task.  For more on this, check out my webinar with Libby Luff of Practice Panther HERE (link to the gated video).

(title) How do I Know if I Delegated the RIGHT Amount?

Okay, so you’re building up a database of SOPs and you’ve started assigning things.  How do you know what’s the right amount of work and when you start hiring more people (or outsourcing things).

(Bold) Create Ideal Months

The attached sheet is the BEST way to make sure you’ve assigned the right amount of work.

Fill this out for you AND for everyone who works for you (as best as you can).

Example: My Monday

I have a meeting from 9-9:30 with my assistant.  This means that slot would be full for both of us for EVERY Monday but the rest of the team wouldn’t have this slot filled.

Then we have a meeting from 9:30-11 with the whole team.  So that would be added to EVERYONE’S ideal month for every week on Monday.  Technically 2 team members leave at 10:30 so they could open that time on their ideal months.

Then I write my newsletter from 11-12 by myself (with some Chat GPT help) so that slot would be filled for only me.  Same for lunch.

But from 1:30-2:30 once a month I have a meeting with other lawyer vendors.  So that would ONLY be in the Monday 1:30-2:30 week 2 slot.  My once a month coaching client would be in ONLY the 4-5 Week 4 Monday slot, etc.

I hope that makes sense, if not, I can do a whole video on this.  

As you keep filling this out for everyone, you will find the right balance.  Make sure you leave time for checking email, work emergencies, etc.  So I think you should look to fill about 75% of someone’s hour this way.

Remember, it’s more for the time block than anything overly specific.  So if you send out bills twice a month and it takes you an hour to review and invoice them…make sure you have that time on your calendar.  And make sure everyone else has time booked BEFORE that to get their time in and finalized.

Or if you want more time to work ON your business (instead of in it) schedule a few hours every week to work on your business (and then decide what that work is each week that week).  

If everyone’s schedule is full except for one person…then you’re not delegating the right amount to everyone.

And as everyone’s schedules get more and more full, this will help you realize a short 1 hour meeting is actually 10 hours of time if you have 10 people (hooray for shorter meetings!!!!  Which we will talk about next week) and ALSO it will let you know when it’s time to hire more people (or at least more help).

A new position might be taking 5 hours of work from 6 people who are over their 75% threshold.  Or it might be taking 10 hours a week off of your plate, plus adding in the 20 hours of client check-ins, networking follow up and volunteer work you signed up for and DREAD doing.

The other benefit of having this mapped out is that you’ll start to see what tasks actually make sense together and which don’t.

If you have your amazing writer paralegal calling a bunch of clients while your super sweet receptionist struggles to compile some documents, that might be an easy swap.

Or if your billing clerk has trouble getting people to enter the right info when they bill, they might be able to spend 30 minutes a week with people doing some training if someone else can grab that other small weekly task from them.

Embracing these delegation strategies ensures you're not just building a business empire but also curating a life you've always dreamt of. So, delegate with purpose, lead with passion, and watch as your law firm scales new heights.

Next week we will be discussing how to run better meetings (which I swear is more fun and beneficial than it sounds).

Until then, have a wonderful weekend!


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