Time and time again I have posted and blogged about Michael Hyatt’s 5 Levels of Delegation and how important they are to understand when working with a virtual assistant. Once you know theses 5 Levels, you will see your work and your team’s work in a much clearer light! Below I outline how I use the Levels in Freedom Makers, and then I outline the pitfalls of not fully understanding them through working with other small businesses.
To reiterate the 5 Levels of Delegation broken down look like this:
- Level 1: Do exactly what I said to do and how I said to do it
- Level 2: Research it and let me know what you find. I’ll give you further instructions after that.
- Level 3: Research it, summarize for me, and offer a solution. I’ll let you know what to do after that.
- Level 4: Figure it out. Keep me updated.
- Level 5: You have this.
Using the 5 Levels Within Freedom Makers
We currently have 3 roles on the internal team at Freedom Makers. Each one operates on its own level, partially due to the nature of the work and partially due to my desired involvement.
- Onboarding Coordinator
- Account Manager
- Marketing Coordinator
business owner’s preference. A business owner could have their coordinator post
exactly when and where they want. They could have someone completely run the show for them or any other level between these two. When I hired for this role, I was working with a consultant, so I did not need someone who could run the show right away. But I knew I wanted someone who could take our consultant’s recommendations and run with them without much, if any, guidance from me. Thus I knew someone who could operate at a Level 4 or 5 would be a good fit. Now this person keeps our marketing machine humming, even giving me deadlines on when articles should be completed!
The Pitfalls of Not Being Clear
Recently, I was speaking with a client--we will call him Oliver--on his frustrations with an on-site employee, who we will call Bob. Oliver was frustrated because Bob was doing work he was not asked to do and was not doing it in a way that supported the business. In other words, Bob was making mistakes on work he was not even tasked with!
From what Oliver was describing, it sounded like he wanted Bob to do Level 1 or 2 work, but that he was attempting Level 3 or 4 work. After I described that Levels 1 and 2 are more specific in the tasking and reporting back, Oliver confirmed that this was the case. Oliver began sharing more examples of how Bob was trying to operate at a higher level than what he was capable and at which Oliver was willing to delegate. Bob was trying to makes decisions on his own and do things without reporting back to Oliver.
From that point on, Oliver began using the levels going forward to hire. Upon hiring a new employee, he began by explaining what level he expected the person to be at. Therefore, they both knew the expectation of how work was to be performed. Furthermore, Oliver shared the levels with his current employees for an open discussion on expectations from both sides. Communication was clear on what Oliver expected and the employees better knew their roles.
How People Thrive
While there are some people who can operate at all five levels, most thrive in just one or two. I have seen it where a person (who operates at Level 5) gets the Level 1 work done, but the business owner is upset because it was not done the way they wanted it. I have also seen it where a business owner wanted their employee to work at a Level 4 or 5 and the person could not rise to the expectation. It was disappointing to the business owner, who also did not know how to fix it because the employee did not know what questions to ask.
Overall, the 5 Levels of Delegation have a great deal of worth to a small business owner. Knowing them and applying them to the work you want accomplished will help things run smoother in the long run.
If your business is ready to hire virtual help to make things run smoother, contact Freedom Makers. We will connect you with the right virtual assistant based on what your business’ needs are.