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5 BOTTLENECK TYPES & SOLUTIONS

04 Jun 2018, Posted by Delegate Solutions in Resources

Are you the bottleneck in your business that you can’t afford? Learn about the five types of bottlenecks below, understand their backstories and why they occur, and grab easy solutions you can deploy to help clear them from your business.

The 5 types are:

1. THE HERO

2. THE INTERVENTIONIST

3. THE ISOLATIONIST

4. THE TIME OPTIMIST

5. THE DREAMER

Learn more about each below…

1. THE HERO

ABOUT THE HERO: 

Your team requires too much permission to action things and has to run too much through you and it’s stunting company growth. In some cases, the company is built starting from the ground up with the CEO being at the center of everything. Entrepreneurs are notorious for taking great pride in this position and begin to subconsciously thrive on the feelings of necessity and emergency that they receive from their team and their contribution to the business. Unfortunately, it’s not a sustainable plan for growth and will never allow you to have a company that can run without your involvement if not addressed.

HOW IT HAPPENS: 

As the company grows, often the processes for removing the CEO aren’t simultaneously developed. Your team has been conditioned to run everything through you. They require approval to action things, need access and permission for info that only you know, etc. It’s also possible you haven’t put the right resources in place (i.e. right people in the right seats) and there’s a lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities because you haven’t clearly mapped out processes with ownership. Because of the constant state of confusion, your team becomes resistant to new change and may even begin “delegation blocking” when you try to begin new habits because they don’t have a clear view of their place in the process and may even become possessive overwork which can sabotage your efforts.

SOLUTIONS FOR HEROS: 

– Commit to extract yourself. Take a hard look at parts of the business where you notice the team is still having to come to you. Try creating an inventory of your activities related to recurring processes to really identify what is running through you that shouldn’t be.

– Grab some easy wins to build confidence for you and the team. Select a few small easy processes that you notice are a nuisance to you that are easy to capture and handoff. Write the process as it is now and identify who is responsible for which step in the process. Wherever you see your name, we need to replace it with another team member whenever possible. ** Bonus! Consider using a Unique Method here to layout the process or even a Strategy Circle to assist in evaluating the process. 

– Begin to verbally re-direct your team to not include you in everything. They have been trained to come to you and they need to feel empowered and allowed to move things along without your constant involvement.  ** Bonus! Having a designated gatekeeper for your time – that isn’t you – helps this process. It’s easier for someone who is not the CEO to tell them no. It may take a third party to break bad habits over time. 

– Start to delegate your thinking to your key team members. As you make decisions on things that they bring to you, explain WHY you approached it the way you did, what thoughts influenced your decision. This allows them to attempt to make choices without you going forward, or at least minimize your overall involvement.

 

2. THE INTERVENTIONIST

ABOUT THE INTERVENTIONIST: 

You are continually involved in the 80%, rather than focusing on the 20% most important work.  You are not really committed to the delegation being successful because you haven’t prepared the delegation properly and do not trust the delegation process. This may stem from an “entrepreneurial hero” complex or just a general buildup of distrust in relying on other teammates.  A bad habit has developed of inserting yourself to remain in the loop at all times. Your constant need to control the outcomes frustrates your team and causes them to retreat from helping you because they don’t feel that their contribution matters.

HOW IT HAPPENS: 

We built this city! We built this city on you! Everything stems from you…your ideas, your plans, your vision, the sale, the execution. What you have built is largely reliant on your participation. You may have tried to find support in the past, and despite your best efforts delegation failed. This has created a cocooning tendency around protecting yourself and your ideas from errors. You have not committed the time to make the delegation successful and providing the clarity needed to execute to your standards. Because of all of this, you don’t trust that anyone can do it as good as you can and you insist on being part of everything going on in the business.

SOLUTIONS FOR INTERVENTIONISTS: 

– Find the right support solution for you. This could initially be a staffing issue, in which case it’s an easy fix. Having the wrong resource here in the past likely contributed to the broken trust. It’s important to also understand that strong administrative folks will always want to action the next steps to your ideas. Be clear with them if you just want to bounce ideas and brainstorm rather than action something.**Bonus: Try our Right Fit Scorecard** 

– Once you have the right fit support in place, take the time to delegate properly. Focus on sharing what success looks like for this project. Provide them with success criteria up front so that you create alignment. Share with them how this activity ties into the big picture. **Bonus: Try using a Strategic Coach Impact Filter to properly flesh out your idea for easier handoff.**

– Understand that administratively your work is not unique. Alot of the hesitation and frustration can stem from your own wrong assumptions that the delegation is complex and unique. A strong support person will be able to separate the nuances from the core administrative process.

– Restore your trust via an ongoing commitment to process. Let a team member interview you to capture the process as you see it. Then let them help you tweak the process to make it run more smoothly. Respect that not every person may tackle the steps in the same way and same order so they need to either “let go and trust your team will get to the final product in their own way” OR they need to clearly define the project if specific steps must happen in a specific order.

– Start small to build trust. Try to create systems that include safety nets or ways for the you to understand tasks are being handled properly. Know yourself; if you don’t like to wait for updates or always assume the worst in situations, create working processes that help eliminate mental stress around delegating that will be a win/win as you start to let go sooner.

 

3. THE ISOLATIONIST

ABOUT THE ISOLATIONIST: 

The established communication style across your team is holding you back and needs to be addressed. The team isn’t clear on the process or always requires additional details from you to complete projects. You aren’t available to participate in the necessary conversations needed to see things through. You’re too busy and are not being realistic about your time and involvement in the process and your pieces are jamming up.  You are not placing enough value on the time required to really delegate effectively.

HOW IT HAPPENS: 

Ah! You’re completely overloaded and busting at the seams. You have complete awareness around how much help you need and have managed to find great help; there’s just one problem: you have no time to spend with them to really make any traction. You’re booked on back to back meetings all day, with no open windows to make time for the crucial conversations that are required to really move things forward on your behalf. Because you’re so overwhelmed in general with your level of overcommitment, you provide minimal details to your team, have unrealistic expectations of turnaround time and lack the time to close the loop on your delegations with your team.

SOLUTIONS FOR ISOLATIONISTS: 

– Commit to a standing call/meeting each week or each day to be available to your team for questions. Set a clear agenda for what needs to get accomplished in these calls so everyone knows in advance what info to come prepared with. Let your team be responsible for running those calls. Simply plan to show up and answer questions. Have your team repeat back to you what they heard as priorities and align on next steps.

– Establish a communication system that works for everyone on a consistent basis. Do you prefer to be asked as needed, or lumped together in one request each day? Commit to a certain level of responsiveness (Within 24 hours if Slacked (for example) is a reasonable request).

– Be sure you are creating a communication system that works for the reality of your day to day. It’s fine to have goals and hopes of evolving how you are managing this process, but for now, just focus on finding a daily status update system that works to keep the delegation progressing with minimal commitment from you.

– Be highly selective about your delegation. Focus on the most crucial things that need to move forward and commit to relaying the detailed information in an impactful way to your team. Take the small wins and build confidence and solid communication to help move things forward. **Bonus: Use a Strategic Coach Impact Filter to make the delegation as effective as possible by sharing your ideas for the success of the project with your team. This helps create alignment around expectations. You can even have the team interview you if you prefer to just verbally answer the questions as opposed to thoughtfully write them out (this works great for high Quickstarts).

 

4. THE TIME OPTIMIST

ABOUT TIME OPTIMISTS: 

You are overly optimistic about what can be accomplished with the staff and priorities you have. You have a lot of energy around your ideas, but sometimes lack restraint to fully action your best ideas. Your team has become unfocused and confused because they are actioning multiple things at once and really aren’t able to focus on the most crucial results of the day.

HOW IT HAPPENS: 

You are brilliant at developing new ideas and concepts, and your enthusiasm for accomplishing them drives the energy of your team. Your team loves to help action ideas and bring them to life. The problem is that if everything is urgent, nothing gets done well because there’s simply not enough time. This behavior of oversharing your ideas can be toxic to your team, because they don’t understand that sometimes you are just brainstorming and not even fully committed to the ideas you are sharing.

SOLUTIONS FOR TIME OPTIMISTS: 

– Create some restraint boundaries for yourself. Understand that the people that support you, hear your ideas and enthusiasm and believe it is their responsibility to help execute on them.

– Establish accountability and timelines before you start to delegate. Understanding priority is always key for effective support staff in handling situations like this, if they understand the objective and priorities then they will accomplish the goal faster.

– Align on when things need to be accomplished so that you are on the same page. Be clear on what the priority items are as well so the team understands when it’s ok to spend more time on a project/task vs another.

 

5. THE DREAMER

ABOUT DREAMERS: 

You’re haven’t clearly defined what success in delegation looks like, which is making you unclear because you haven’t thought how to execute your ideas in detail. This ambiguity is a confidence killer and a recipe for disaster. You have a habit of changing your mind frequently as your ideas evolve. The problem is that this will drive your team crazy, because they don’t have what they need from you to properly action a project or idea. You are slowly chipping away at the impact, confidence and productivity of your team to help you bring the ideas to life.

HOW IT HAPPENS: 

Your favorite place to hang out is in idea creation. No one does it better than you when it comes to having the courage to dream things up time after time. The challenge lies in the handoff of the information to the people who are there to help you bring it to life. What they need from you is clarity and commitment to see your most important ideas through.

SOLUTIONS FOR DREAMERS: 

– Don’t delegate unless you are clear yourself that the work or project is important to you.

– Restrain yourself from constant ideation to your team

– Or collaborate on what your vision entails and how you can best bring it to fruition through trial/error.  Have someone interview you to understand the process and goals. This helps provide clarity!

– Hold yourself to a requirement to use a Strategic Coach Impact Filter or other delegation tool to test your idea and make sure you are clear on what you want/ what success looks like before you try to hand it off.

 

** If you struggle with delegation or your team struggles with executing on your best ideas, we can help!  Our proven consultative approach to delegation helps you and your team prioritize, systematize and create more accountability in your business.  See if we’re a fit!

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