234 The Art of Delegation with Selina Johnson

The Art of Delegation with Selina Johnson


Ever felt like there just aren’t enough hours in the day? This episode promises to revolutionize your approach to time management by mastering the art of delegation. Selina Johnson, who has 20 years of operations under her belt, shares her transformative "I Love My Team®" system. It's not just about lightening your workload; it’s about empowering yourself and your team for business growth and personal well-being while shattering the myth that personal involvement is the only path to efficiency.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Nuances of delegation, while shattering the myth that personal involvement is the only path to efficiency
  • 'Four Cs' of delegation—communicate, clarify, command, and cultivate—and why they are crucial in both your office and your living room
  • Nurturing a team from the ground up, fostering trust, and understanding when to step back

Connect with Selina:

Mentioned in the episode:
What's Your Delegation IQ Quiz


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Megan 00:00
Hey everyone, welcome back to Work Life Harmony. Really excited today to take a deep dive into talking about delegation with our new guest, selena. Now, before you think, ok, this is going to be all around corporate setting delegation, it isn't. She has an amazing five-step system that we're going to talk about both from an angle of if you are running a team or a business or anything and you do have people ultimately that report to you how that looks in more of a work setting but also how do we translate this back into our own home to maybe help lighten the load a little bit. So I'm really excited for you all to meet Selena here today and let's go ahead and get things started. Welcome] to the Work Life Harmony podcast.

I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner teaching all things time management, organization and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife and, just like you, I'm chuggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time planning an organization to skyrocket your productivity, so you can have work life harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you, and if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my work life harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram, at Megan Sumrell, with the word harmony and my team will send it right over.

Hey everyone, welcome back to Work Life Harmony. I have a new guest today and after reading everything about her, I had to stop because I didn't want to spoil it for myself to unpack all of this amazing method that Selena has. But today we're really going to be talking about delegation, and I think delegation is so important when we are on a quest for work life harmony, because one of the things we all have to come to grips with is guess what? We can't do it all. We can't be everything to everyone. We can't be doing all the things that we desire to do. So, selena, welcome to this show. I would love it if you would introduce yourselves and let us know how you got into this line of work, being an expert around the topic of delegation.

Selina 02:23
Right, thanks. Amazing intro. Thank you, Megan. So yes, my name is Selena Johnson, I'm a mother with two girls, seven and nine and I'm also a business owner. I set up my business for more time freedom, to allow me to work on my own terms, but also to be around my kids as well, to be able to have the opportunity to go to their sports day or not have to ask to take time out of work. And now what I do is within my business is help CEOs to free their time by leveraging their teams, so teaching them how to effectively delegate in their business.

Megan 02:57
Delegation is so important and yet so challenging, whether it's delegation in a business sense or even just delegation around the house. I think and I'm curious to get your thoughts on this I feel like the number one reason I know for myself and a lot of women I talk to on why we're so hesitant to do it is falling into the trap of it's just faster if I do it than teach someone else how to. Is that something that you hear a lot?

Selina 03:25
Absolutely. It's all in my head. I can't explain it. No one's going to do it better than me. It's quicker and easier and faster for me just to do it.

Megan 03:32
Love it, so you've got. I know your background was in operations, right.

Selina 03:39
Yes, correct.

Megan 03:40
OK, so tell us a little bit about that, on kind of your transition from that into what you're doing now.

Selina 03:44
Yeah, so when I was studying graphic design, I was working with businesses in operations, just helping them to find ways to simplify things. That's always been what I love doing. I like looking at what's chaotic often, I love being in chaos to make it more simplified and more streamlined. So that line of work just continued and I just love to be able to free up people's time, essentially because I think that time is one of the most valuable things in resources and it's about valuing our time. And I think it came from a point of when my mum is someone that's really what will roll up her sleeves and do the work.

And growing up at a young age, I saw that she was constantly working great at her job, being a social worker, but she was always working around the clock and when she wasn't working at home, she was working. So she would be constantly cleaning, she would be in the garden, she was doing all things and I just used to sit and look. I don't want to be like that. I can't be. I can't see myself being like that, because you're like an octopus, multiple arms, just going around doing everything. Let's say there's got to be a better way to do this.

Megan 04:49
Love that. I feel like we have such a similar background in that desire to get into chaotic things and go. All right, let's figure this out and let's make it work better. I know you have a five-step method. I believe it's called I Love my Team. Is that right? Yes, all right, tell us about it. I'm excited to hear this.

Selina 05:06
Yes, I created these five steps because I noticed with business owners when they came to me it's that they wanted to grow their business, but often because they were just doing everything, it was affecting their home life. I wanted to find a way that they could then essentially get their time back at home whether that's with family or friends or just me time but also have a business that can grow sustainably without them being reliant to be in it 24-7. The five steps are communicate, clarify, command, cultivate and then claim. Communicate is all about keeping clear on what it is that you want, getting clear on your goals and your vision, where you are now and where you need to get to, whether that's at home or in business. What is it that you're trying to achieve?

Those people around you whether that's your team members or those in your family members getting clear on that as well, so that they can support you In your personal life. If you wanted to do your goal for next year is that you want to be able to become a marathon runner, then how can they support you to get to that goal If you haven't communicated that? They don't know what your ambitions are? That might mean that you need to have more time away from home. That means that they may need to hold more responsibilities while you do training. What is it that they need to guide you with in those areas?

Megan 06:23
I think that's really important, especially around the house. I think when I put my business hat on I feel like, well, of course I would communicate those things with my team members. That makes sense. As a CEO, I would hope I have clearly defined goals and the team knows that. But I think it gets to be a slippery slope sometimes at home.

I know this was something I wished I'd learned earlier was thinking the goals that I had for myself on a personal level. I kept quiet and then would get frustrated when I didn't feel that in my household things weren't shifting to support me on that. Yet I never actually sat down and said, even to your point, your family would probably know if you were training for a marathon. But maybe there's something else that isn't so visibly obvious. To sit down at home and say, hey, this is something that's really important to me. I know a year ago when I decided I wanted to start taking cello lessons, it had to be a family conversation of this means we're going to have to shift some responsibilities around the house in order for me to do this and have time to practice every day. I think that that communication piece sounds so obvious, but I think we think that maybe we've communicated when it's in our head, when we haven't actually done that. I love that. That's where you start from. What's the second C then?

Selina 07:44
The second is clarify that's getting clear on who you need on your team. Do you have the right people there for you or do you need to up-level that team or shift the players around? In business, often we can bring people in friends, family, people who are available tomorrow, who might not be the right fit.

So it's making sure, based on the communication of where you want to go, are these the right people, the key players? So if you look at any sports, they're always speaking players who are going to be best for what the goal is, whether they want to win the championship or it's something that they want to win next year. They then have that strategy of who's going to come in, based on that end goal. So that's key importance to you know, in your family life, is it that, like you said, you want to do music lessons but it's going to be difficult for you to juggle with a partner or somebody that has an aunt and uncle? Maybe you need to step in and ask a neighbor or a friend to help. So it's like asking for help in other areas that you might not normally ask for and not feeling like it's a weakness asking for that help. It's really coming to that realization that you can't do it all and then getting that strong support to support you on the way.

Megan 08:51
Yeah, I think there are two sides of what you, or two parts of what you just said that I think really hit home for me. One is the again not feeling bad about asking for help. It's hard to do. I'm a recovery. I'm still in recovery and getting better about feeling good about asking for help. But I love what you alluded to at first when you're talking about, you know, hiring. A lot of times I think women and again I'm still a work-in-progress people pleaser we want to hire the friend that's trying to get started or the family member that's trying to earn some extra money when maybe in our heart of hearts we know that they may not be the person, like on the sports field, that the coach would be putting in to bring them across the home plate. Do you have any suggestions on how to kind of work through sometimes that inner conflict that we have of wanting to be supportive and helpful of other people, even when maybe we know that's not the best decision for that role?

Selina 09:44
I believe it's best not to drive on a motion because otherwise it'd be really difficult then to make an executive decision. And it's different for everyone. If your early stage in business, you don't want to really pay someone at that stage, or you don't want to hire someone full time and do your business, so you may adopt help from anyone, you can get anyone who's going to help you. So it's getting clear on okay, what is the outcome? What do I want them to do for me? And getting clear and give them the principles and that comes into commands actually getting clear on actually what is it that you need them to do and making sure they understand it, Because essentially, if you're asking someone to do something and they don't do it correctly, then it comes back on you.

An example of that. Like I said, I start giving my nine-year-old more chores to do. And I said so can you go and collect the bin? And she collected the bin and then I was like, why is she taking so long to drag the bin up the driver and I realised that it was still full. They hadn't collected it. Normally they could collect in the morning.

Megan 10:43
So she's dragging the full Drashman on the way back up.

Selina 10:46
I wasn't clear to her so I needed to tell her because she's new to that. You need to check first inside. Is it empty? If it's empty, then collect. But I wasn't specifying clearly and communicating what I wanted at the outcome of that, so that's quite and that then wastes time. If you're thinking of something on a grander scale and it's multiple tasks, if it's always coming back to you, that can take up a lot of time and effort for you If you've already got limited time available. So it's clear about that commanding part. To get clear on the instructions as you deliver it to somebody.

Megan 11:18
And that was the third C, right the command. Okay, so you've got communicate, clarify command. And then what's the fourth one?

Selina 11:24
The fourth is to cultivate, that's, to step up as a leader to maximize your team for maximize business growth and sustainability within the business. So that's looking at how can you get people to understand the vision and values of the business so that they really get it and understand it and want to grow and excel with the business so that you then, don't have to be in the day to day in the weeds, essentially because anything that comes up, a challenge comes up.

They understand how to action that without you getting involved in every single thing.

Megan 11:58
Gotcha. So it sounds like because at first I was thinking, okay, difference between cultivate and communicate. But with the way you've explained it I could kind of see I may have communicated things clearly, but I know we've hit the cultivate. Perhaps when a team member is coming to me saying, hey, I saw this problem, I have this idea and kind of being a lot more proactive than just maybe kind of responding to tasks, is that a fair way to assess that?

Selina 12:23
Yeah, absolutely. I could talk about the seven delegation steps and like step one is do this, do exactly how I tell you to do it, follow these steps and let me know once you've done it and I'll tell you what to do next. Whereas, like delegation, step of seven is it's just been actioned. I don't even need to know about it because I know it's been done to the standards it needs to be at.

Megan 12:42
Okay, I want to circle back to that one, but first I want to go to the fifth C.

Selina 12:45
Yes and claim and that's the claim your time back. So that's to do more of the things that warm your heart. And sometimes we feel guilty of this. You know, I did the decision last year to take Fridays off and it started off really well to have that me time, and then it started to creep in the guilt of should I be on Friday because everyone else is working, I'm in the shop shopping and I shouldn't be because I should be at work, and you know it's almost like being in the naughty corner and that was really difficult to get over. That transition of years of work in Monday to Friday, nine to five.

Megan 13:17
But it's so important.

Selina 13:19
I know that the more I slow down and I quiet space for me, the more I am. My cup is full and then I can pour into my family and can pour into my clients and my business. The more I show up in a better light.

Megan 13:32
Yeah, and obviously that's going to be my personal favorite, because I think I see so many people coming at delegating from an angle of let's get those things off your plate so that then more can get done when maybe, maybe that's not the end game. Maybe the end game is get some stuff off your plate so that you have some white space and time for yourself again, instead of every every bucket that gets everything taken off your plate doesn't mean let's add more on. Maybe we just need to get less on your plate and keep it that way. So I have to ask you what are some of the things that you do to fill you up when you're not working?

Selina 14:11
So I have a daydream and share which I go to and that's out looking at my house into the greenery area and that's really nice. Just to have that time where it's not scheduled or it's not like this specific thing I have to do, it's just sit down, look outside, look at the clouds and just I love that daydream chair.

Megan 14:31
That's beautiful to think about. Got my head spinning, I'm like I kind of feel like I have one for warmer weather, but now I'm going to have to challenge myself on a space like that inside. So you mentioned the seven steps of delegation. Do you think we have time to kind of briefly touch on what that journey looks like?

Selina 14:46
Yeah, absolutely so. I think the step one would be very instructional. It's almost like a pre book follow these steps, use these ingredients, get to this step, and then midway would be that they've kind of semi done it. They've done it without being asked, they know that they've got to cook the dinner, so they've done the steps. But then maybe you need to overlook it in the iPhone and check everything's okay, safety checks. And then seven is you've come home and the dinner's cooked and on the table. You haven't had to say anything, it's all done. So it's amazing to get to that level. Seven you wouldn't expect your kids, young kids, to get to that.

Megan 15:20
All that will be heaven, but I was going to say if so, tell me what you're doing. But even though, like I think back on my daughter's 13 now, things that I did used to have to check on regularly in terms of what our expectations were for her contribution, for her room in the morning, like before school, here's what we, and it went from supervising it to spot checking, and now I just trust that it's being done. So I guess I do. You know, would I have liked to have gotten from point one to seven a little quicker than I did, maybe, but I do think that there are. Yeah, I think there are ways where I can see that you know happening around the house as well too, which is really nice. Any tips that you have on how to, or when to maybe even feel comfortable starting to let go of that check-in so that we're not stuck in that step one of delegation, which still can feel very time consuming when you're first getting started.

Selina 16:19
Yeah, I think step one is almost micromanaging, hand holding onto the reins, which means you have no free time to think or any clarity. So when you do give those instructions, you follow up on it and check and give feedback. Oh, this is great, but next time I would consider and then give the feedback and then you would need to constantly give feedback until it gets to a point where you don't need to handle it. You don't need to check in at all, like you mentioned.

Megan 16:46
And would you say you know we're thinking about a team perspective. You know, obviously we can't fire our family, right, but you know, maybe you're outsourcing something, whether it's an employee contract or whatever. How long do you feel and I know it's probably different for different role but at what point should it be a sign that maybe this is not the right person? For like how long you're stuck in that step one area yeah, that's a great question.

Selina 17:10
I like to look at it from my perspective of have I given them all the tools and resources they need to be fully?

equipped to hold that role? Do they have a job description? Did we have a 90-day onboarding process that had a clear success plan of what those first 90 days? Do we have KPIs in place so we can track their performance against numbers or statistics to say that they've hit the bar or they blow the bar? Have I offered any coaching? Have I offered any training? So, going through those benchmarks first, and if those have all been done, you've done follow-ups, and then you're seeing that there's a still red flags, then that's a time to look at removing that person from the business.

Megan 17:50
I love that you highlighted all of those, everything that you highlighted in terms of onboarding and reviews.

It's so important, if you are a business owner in particular, to understand that some of that ownership is on us. We can't just hire people, give them very little direction and then get frustrated when we're not seeing the results we wanted, when we haven't clearly. That's why I like communication is the first thing, because I think that I see a lot of people who are quick to let people go when there wasn't. That poor person was never even given much of an opportunity to be super successful in that role. So I think that ties so beautifully back to your five steps there, starting with the communication. And I have to give a shout out to the amazing women on my team because, hearing you talk about that step seven, I am very blessed to have three amazing women that are at the step seven. I don't have to look at anything and I'm very, very thankful for that. So I know you have a tool that folks can access to kind of help them understand where they are in their delegation journey. Let us know about that.

Selina 19:01
Yes, it's called what's your delegation IQ and basically that's to help you stop the hustle, stop spinning plates, build a highly motivated team and get back your time for more joy, more fulfillment. So you can go to salinne the johnsoncom forward slash quiz to get access. And it's going to give you the step by steps of okay, these are the missing gaps you have and this is what you can do. The action tapes you can action, steps you can take.

Megan 19:27
Oh, awesome, and guys, I'll have the link to that in the show notes here. And I want people to think because if you're listening to this episode and you're like, okay, Megan, well, I don't know, I don't have a business, this doesn't apply to me. If you are interacting with any group of people on a regular basis, you know perfect example, the people with which you live in. These same things apply at home, and I think that we often think, oh well, it's it's family, it's not a business. No, it's not a business. But you are a team of people that ideally, we all want to have, working together in harmony towards some collective goals, which is the exact same thing we would want as a business owner right? We want our team and all of us working together in harmony to reach the collective set of goals. So you know, while some of this you know, of course you're not going to be interviewing and an onboarding, you know if it's a member of your family, but so much of the things that you've shared here today, selena, I think translate beautifully whether it's with a team and a business versus your team at home. So thank you so much for sharing with us today. I really appreciate it.

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