Mastering Delegation: How to Transform Your Business and Life

Mastering Delegation: How to Transform Your Business and Life written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Dave Kerpen, a seasoned entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author with a passion for effective leadership and delegation. Dave and I uncover the transformative power of delegation, shedding light on how mastering this skill can […]

Mastering Delegation: How to Transform Your Business and Life written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

The Duct Tape Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch

In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interviewed Dave Kerpen, a seasoned entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author with a passion for effective leadership and delegation. Dave and I uncover the transformative power of delegation, shedding light on how mastering this skill can revolutionize both your business and personal life.


Key Takeaways

Dave Kerpen emphasizes that delegation is a transformative skill that empowers individuals and organizations to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and work-life balance. Overcoming mindset barriers such as fear and distrust is crucial, as is following a structured approach like the Five Cs of Delegation: Choose the right person, Communicate clearly, Coach for success, Check in regularly, and Celebrate achievements. By mastering delegation, individuals can unlock exponential growth opportunities for their businesses while prioritizing meaningful experiences in their personal lives.

Questions I ask Dave Kerpen:

[01:38] What sorts of mindset shifts do you encourage people to take in your book?

[07:14] Explain the S.H.A.R.E model

[09:51] How do you overcome the need to micromanage and delegate instead?

[12:42] What role does mentoring to create leaders inside your organization play, or do you go out and find that leader?

[14:20] What practices should we start exploring? if as leaders, we are to take balancing seriously

[16:38] How do you achieve this balance with teams working remotely?

[18:24] Where can people connect with you and learn more about the Mentorship?



More About Dave Kerpen:


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Speaker 1 (00:00): I was like, I found it. I found it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I can honestly say it has genuinely changed the way I run my business. It’s changed the results that I’m seeing. It’s changed my engagement with clients. It’s changed my engagement with the team. I couldn’t be happier. Honestly. It’s the best investment I ever made. What

John (00:17): You just heard was a testimonial from a recent graduate of the Duct Tape Marketing certification intensive program for fractional CMOs marketing agencies and consultants just like them. You could choose our system to move from vendor to trusted advisor, attract only ideal clients, and confidently present your strategies to build monthly recurring revenue. Visit DTM world slash scale to book your free advisory call and learn more. It’s time to transform your approach. Book your call today, DTM World slash scale. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast. This is John Jantsch. My guest today is Dave Kerpen. He’s a serial entrepreneur with three seven figure businesses, a New York Times bestselling author of five books, an investor and most important, a father of three with and husband to wife, Carrie, who’s also a partner in the business. And we’re going to talk about this latest book, get Over Yourself, how to Lead and Delegate Effectively for More Time, more Freedom, and More Success. So Dave, welcome to show.

Dave (01:34): Thanks so much for having me. Great to see you again, John.

John (01:36): Likewise. So this book is all about mindset or mindset change, I should say. So let’s talk about a couple of the shifts that you’re going to ask people to make in this book.

Dave (01:48): So the biggest thing that holds people back from delegating well is it not knowing what to do. It’s the mindset issues or what I’d call in the book emotional detractors that get in the way. And the two biggest ones are fear and distrust. So we’re afraid that if we have somebody else do the work, they’re going to mess it up. They’re going to fail. We’re going to lose clients, we’re going to go out of business. There’s many things that we’re afraid of on the trust side. We don’t trust people to get the job done. Our people have let us down in the past, and that makes it harder and harder to trust. And then the two other ones that are a little smaller, but that I do see popping up now and again are the need to control everything and the need for things to be perfect. If it’s not perfect, it’s not worth doing. And those things get in the way of good delegation as well.

John (02:34): Over the years, I’ve learned kind of the hard way sometimes that not delegating or not letting people just run with stuff and trusting them. It’s really disempowering, isn’t it, to the team. I mean, even if it’s done with because oh, I want it done it right? I mean, it really teaches them, oh, I just have to wait for you to tell me what to do.

Dave (02:52): It is. So one thing I write about and like to remind people is if they’ve ever, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, if they’ve ever worked for somebody else, many of us have had the experience of working for a micromanager. I know I had that early on in my career and it was miserable. I felt so disempowered, I felt so just unenthusiastic about my work. And so now that your listeners are on the other side of the coin, and entrepreneurs and small business owners have an opportunity to be better, we need to remember what it was like to be micromanaged and make sure that we’re not that kind of boss.

John (03:25): Yeah. Another thing that I know I run into a lot of business owners, entrepreneurs, particularly entrepreneurs that are, we’ll figure this out, whatever it takes kind of mentality. A lot of times the work that they started doing, the work that the business began with that was kind of their passion and joy. It doesn’t make sense for them to do it anymore, but they love it. And that I find is a real challenge.

Dave (03:50): What’s really funny, I’ll tell you this book is with Ben Bella, and Glen’s a wonderful guy that, he’s the publisher, he is personally involved. It’s a smaller imprint. And he did the first read and he came back. And in the book I talk about three things that every leader should do, three things and three things alone. Set the strategy and vision, hire the right people for the right seats and assure access to enough capital and resources to get the job done. Those three things alone. And Glenn pushed back a little. He said, well, what if you like doing things? What if you like doing marketing? What if you like doing sales? I said, listen, I’m not saying you can’t do these things, but a lot of people use excuses that, oh, I like doing this. I’m really good at this, or I really like doing this, so I’m just going to keep doing it. But eventually, first of all, that disempowers the team that’s supposed to be doing it. But second of all, the stakes here are big. The stakes aren’t just your successful business. The stakes are your time that you only get once. And I write about people on their deathbeds. John, do you know what percentage of people on their deathbeds say, I wish I had worked more

John (04:56): Somewhere around zero.

Dave (04:58): I wish I had built a bigger bit somewhere around zero. But what percentage of people on their deathbed said, I wish I had more time with my family. I wish I had more time with my close friends. I wish I had more time to pursue travel and passions and different things that are personally meaningful for me. So many people have that experience. So why should we get obsessed with doing marketing for our business only because we like it or we’re good at it if it’s taking us away from our family, our children, the things that are important to us. It’s just you have to weigh the relative benefits of doing any particular task or project versus other things that you could be doing with your time.

John (05:38): Well, and I said at the beginning of this, you’ve run several seven figure businesses. You do the math on that. You break evens about a hundred thousand dollars a month and can I afford to do $30 an hour work for the business at any time?

Dave (05:54): That’s right. And I’ll tell you, as I’ve gotten older, I’m more experienced here. My accomplishments have changed. I think for a while I would’ve said my biggest accomplishment in business was the money. And then I moved on to my biggest accomplishment in businesses of being rated best places to work in New York for five years in a row. You know what? My biggest accomplishment in businesses now, it’s having businesses that allow me to check out at 3:00 PM every single day and spend the next four hours with my son doing homework and having a catch. That’s time that I will never ever get back. And I’ve done that by delegating, by letting other people do the work, by empowering them, by stepping back and saying, you know what, if it gets 80% done the way I would’ve wanted to, that’s definitely enough. Who cares if it’s 99 or a hundred percent precisely the way I would’ve wanted it? I’ve had people come to me, John, and say, Dave, I built a really big business. I made a lot of money, but I missed my whole kid’s childhood. Is it really worth it? Yeah.

John (06:55): That leads me straight into the 2015 World Series. Should we talk about that?

Dave (06:59): Oh no. I knew you were going to bring that up. It’s been a while since Casey was. I

John (07:04): Know. I know. We’re trying to actually get back to respectability so I won’t bow bad mouth too much. So you actually hinted at this about the three things somebody needs to do. You actually have a model that you’ve built that you’ve given a lovely acronym as consultant author types. You’ve already kind of unveiled a little bit, but you want to put it in context.

Dave (07:26): Sure. So I’ll give you two quick acronyms here that, because I love acronyms. So the first is the share model that it focuses on the three things and the three things alone that we as leaders should be concerned with and what to do with the rest. So those three things are the S is for set, the strategy and vision. The H is for hire the right people in the right seats. And the A is for assure access to capital and resources to get the job done. The R is to remind ourselves that every other task on our plate, every other project on their plate, every other opportunity or obstacle or challenge can be delegated. And the E is for empower instead of making somebody do it, I love the word empower. Give somebody the opportunity to make their mark on that work.

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(09:20): So what are you waiting for? Fuel your growth, boost revenue and save precious time by upgrading to active campaign. Today, I tell you, as my organization’s grown, and I read this somewhere so I don’t claim that I came up with it, but I love to use this term when I’m delegating something. A lot of people want to micromanage. You use the word talk about all the do it exactly this way. And I love to just say, here’s the definition of done. Here’s what it’s got to get to. What does that look like? So talk a little bit about in the book, obviously delegation’s a big part of this, so a lot of people struggle with how to do that. So talk a little bit about how to do that.

Dave (09:57): Yeah, so that’s my second acronym, right? So I’ve got what I call the five Cs model. So five Cs to remember along the way. And I’ll briefly go through each, John. The first C is choose the right person. And this is a no small task. I get it. The biggest mistake people make here is choosing the first person that happens to be there. Okay, well this is my assistant, so she’ll do it. Or this is my cousin and he works on the business, so he’ll do this. You need to be, of course, very thoughtful about who to choose to do the work. And the good news is in today’s world, there are freelancers, there are contractors, there are vendors, there are agencies, there are apprentices. One of my companies there are Fiverr and Upwork and all kinds of ways to find people and find the right person.

(10:46): The second C is communicate clearly. Verbally is great, but put it in writing what your expectations are. So there’s no misunderstanding, there’s no confusion. There’s a lot of clarity about how to do it if you insist, but better to the point we made earlier, what that expected outcome is what the finish line looks like. The third C is to coach them on their way to success and cheer them on their way to success. I never think of myself as a manager. People hate managers. I think of myself as a coach. People like coach coaches are the best cheerleaders and they help people get to a successful outcome. They help their teams win. Managers are like, oh, nobody even likes the word. The fourth C is check in on the regular. The frequency of your check-in really depends on the scope of the project, but I do not like daily.

(11:41): Some people are overdoing here with daily check-ins or hourly check-ins. Unless it’s a three day project. I like once a week check-ins, 15 minute, everything going, what are your challenges? How can I help overcome those challenges? And then the fifth, see, and this is often forgotten. Once the task is actually accomplished, congratulate them. Celebrate success, right? Let’s learn from our mistakes along the way, but let’s really emphasize how great it was that we got to that outcome so that they have a good feeling in their mouth, a good memory of the whole thing. And you allall can rinse and repeat and do it again.

John (12:18): One of the things that a lot of organizations, I see this, an organization grows, they need people to do tasks or functions, so they start hiring people, but there really isn’t. It’s a very flat organization. There’s not a leadership team per se until an organization gets really big. And so the entrepreneur is now just managing a whole bunch of people. I know the M word you didn’t want me to use, but so what role does mentoring to create leaders inside your organization play? Or do you go out and find that leaders?

Dave (12:49): Yeah, no, it’s huge. I think a mistake folks make is hiring only junior level folks or thinking they can’t afford senior level folks. So kind of keeping a junior, which can work for a certain amount of time. But the downside, like you mentioned, is over time you’re still now you’re maybe managing seven or eight different people in different functions. And that’s not easy. It is frankly very hard. You might as well be doing the work yourself at that point. So it is really important to either bring on more senior talent and folks that tell me they can’t afford it. I call BS because share some of the equity, share some of the pie, and you can afford great talent when you share some upside with folks or mentor people and raise them up and give them a chance to succeed. And I built one of my a million dollar businesses, I co-founded with my apprentice, my assistant at the time. He was 20 years old and I empowered him and I gave him an opportunity to lead and helped to mentor him. And three years later he had a million dollar business at the age of 23 years old. So people can accomplish greatness when we give them a chance and empower them and give them the tools to succeed.

John (13:59): Talk a little bit about, I mean, you mentioned one of the obvious ones. You get yourself in a place where you can leave the business, shut the door, forget about it at three o’clock, but what are some of the techniques for balancing that? I mean because the realities are, I mean there is a lot to do in a business and a lot of demands, especially on the owner, especially if money’s tight. It’s like I got to keep working to pay the people I’m delegating to. Now. Are there some practices that we should start exploring if we really are going to be serious about this balance idea?

Dave (14:28): Yeah. Well first lemme give you another good hack for delegating on the cheap is AI and GPT. And if folks, I mean maybe it’s obvious, but I keep running into folks that just haven’t used the tools. So I think it bears saying again, GPT tools like chat, GBT are really massively helpful for things like research and copywriting, drafting pieces. You should absolutely be using these types of tools. If you can’t afford an assistant, if you can’t afford junior staff, absolutely do that. I use my calendar religiously and I book time to do things and I book time that is bookable by others to work on myself to exercise, to spend time with my kids. And I’m fierce about it. It only works if you’re fierce about it. But for me, the calendar is a wonderful tool. So I highly recommend folks that haven’t been strict about using their calendar that they think through, again, their prior Vern harness said to me, you can understand your business priorities by looking at your calendar and then understanding how well you’re really utilizing that. Another surprisingly good, I wouldn’t call this necessarily a tool, but kind of a hack. You might laugh, but go on vacation,

(15:41): Literally find that excuse to go on vacation. I’m sure your family won’t mind, right? And if you think you can’t afford it, go on a staycation, go on a deeper vacation. You don’t need to go to Fiji, but go on vacation, which forces you, whether you think you’re ready or not, to start to delegate, to start to set some boundaries on my vacations, I limit myself to an hour a night of work, catch up at 10:00 PM once the wife and kids are all asleep, I do my hour of catch up and then I’m shut off the rest of the time. And that forces me to give other people at the back of the company a chance. And guess what? The house didn’t burn down. Things will be okay for you if you go on vacation and you shut off for a couple of days. Yes.

John (16:26): So increasingly, and when people hear the word delegate sometimes they’re talking about virtual assistants or people that are in other parts of the world that can do things that they need to, task that they need done. How do you kind of balance all of that with the fact that you’re not in an office? It’s really tough to build culture, to understand people’s goals and motivation. What are some things that maybe specifically need to be different, a little different, because we’re all spread out and distributed these days?

Dave (16:57): Yeah, it’s hard. I will say that I love hybrid. I love remote. We’ve built now at least one company completely remote, maybe two completely remotely, but it does require extra work and extra attention. And my biggest recommendation around this is taking a couple extra minutes in every meeting and in every conversation to go with the small talk. Because the thing is, in an office in real life, if you will, or back, I guess I would call it real life. In the old days when we had offices, we had actual water coolers and we had actual opportunities when we’re hanging up our coat to say, how about the Mets? Can you believe they crushed KC again last night in that interleague play in today’s world, people jump on a zoom and it’s immediately like, okay, task. And that’s efficient, but at what cost to your culture and what cost to your relationship? So I think the biggest thing when we’re establishing relationships with virtual employees and virtual contractors, of which I mean almost all of us have that now, right? Is to take a couple minutes at the beginning and the end to simulate what we might’ve had in the real world some years ago of like just, Hey, how was your night? Watch any good TV last night. What are you up to this weekend? That sort of thing.

John (18:18): Yeah, absolutely. Well, Dave, I appreciate you taking a moment to stop by and share some with us about get over yourself. You want to tell where people are, invite people to connect with you or find obviously the book, which I am sure can be purchased anywhere,

Dave (18:32): Bookstores everywhere. Get over yourself. has a free chapter download all about delegating chores to your kids, right? So I figured let’s apply these same principles of delegation to the home, and I do office hours, free office hours with anyone that wants to meet with me every Thursday afternoon. You can go to schedule I’m delighted to help you with any of your delegation challenges or your business challenges or your book writing challenges. John, I’m so grateful. Thank you so much for having me back

John (18:58): On. Oh, you bet. Well, again, I appreciate you taking a moment. Hopefully we’ll see you one of these days soon out there on the road.

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